Richard Bach has returned to his famous novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" as he recovers from a near-fatal plane crash in Washington state.

The 76-year-old author tells The Seattle Times that the book originally had four parts -- not the three that were published in 1970 in what became an international best-seller.

But after four months in a Seattle hospital with massive brain, chest and spine injuries, Bach finished the fourth part and sent it off to his publisher a few weeks ago. In the new section, the flock struggles to find meaning. They first worship Jonathan, then write him off as a myth before he returns.

He credits his wife, 42-year-old Sabryna Bach, with supporting and inspiring him during his recovery.

Bach was piloting a single-engine aircraft that clipped power lines and crashed on San Juan Island last August.