by Katherine G. Johnson
The week of the planned launch of NASA’s Artemis I Mission seems an opportune time to promote a memoir by the brilliant mathematician Katherine Johnson. Published shortly after her death in 2020 at age 101, the memoir gives us a fuller, more fascinating picture of the woman at the heart of the bestselling book and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures whose career at NASA was crucial to the early successes in space travel. Johnson writes of her childhood as a prodigy with indomitable parents, the devasting loss of her first husband at a young age, and the comfort that she found by focusing on work and her children. Her personal accounts of the space race, based on her work as a “human computer,” are a unique part of American history.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.