Author Richard Bach

In 1970, his slim (126 pages) novel became the 800-pound gorilla of book publishing. Richard Bach's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" found a global audience.

The allegory follows the life of a sea gull who aspires to fly beautifully and perfectly while the rest of the flock merely searches for food. He is ostracized from his fellows, but pursues his dream and ultimately achieves it.

The book's theme resonated with the times. It even became a 1973 movie with a Neil Diamond soundtrack. A significant number of Web sites are devoted to the book even today.

Mr. Bach, an accomplished pilot, has published seven novels since. Most of them also explore flight and spiritualism.

Bach's latest novel, "Out of My Mind" (William Morrow, 1999), was the most difficult thing he's ever written, he commented on his Web site. (He has since closed the site in order to work on other projects.) It charts his attempts to perfect his Piper Cub airplane and the advice he receives from aviators and engineers in a parallel universe.

Bach recently married and now lives in Stanwood, Wash.

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