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West with the Night: A Memoir Paperback – January 22, 2013
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“Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people's stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.” ―Ernest Hemingway
“West with the Night is the sort of book that makes you think human beings can do anything . . . When she was a mere child, she was clawed by a lion. This should have been enough to make anybody timid for life, but not Beryl . . . A jewel of taut writing and thrilling reading . . . The girl can write.” ―John Chamberlain, The New York Times
About the Author
Beryl Markham (1902–1986) was a British-born Kenyan aviatrix, adventurer, and racehorse trainer.
Sara Wheeler is the author of, most recently, The Magnetic North and Access All Areas.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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However, her writing is the most eloquent, intellectual, passionate I have ever read. Her words often gave me goosebumps. I found myself immersed in East Africa along side her. It was like I was living this story with her. It's easy to tell how much she loved East Africa.
This book has a little bit of everything. It has nature and ecology. It speaks to race-relations and is cultural. And of course it has aviation, which is why I bought it. But most of all, her writing is spiritual. She was so in touch with East Africa and the planet as a whole. You can tell East Africa touched her soul.
The only thing I noticed about this book, it that Markham avoided a lot of "touchy" experiences that must have happened in her life. She talks a lot about the men in her life and how they helped her become a bush pilot but I could sense there was A LOT that she was mentioning in regards to these men, i.e. romance. I could tell she was a bit of a wild woman despite her eager attempts to hide it. There is a big side of her that she didn't want disclose in this book. So you really don't get to know all of whom Markham was, but you get the idea.
If you enjoy excellent writing then this book is a MUST READ.
Beryl Markham had a remarkable childhood growing up in Kenya, befriending natives and others, nearly getting herself killed on a number of occasions. Some of her expriences will keep you on the edge of your seat. Her development into a great horse trainer and then a famous airplane pilot was exciting and interesting. She was an aviation pioneer, the first women to succesfully fly the Atlantic solo from east to west.
If you are interested in biographies and want to read about a time gone by, written in a style that is reminscent of the 1920s and 1930s, I would recommend considering reading "West with the Night."
Most recent customer reviews
The book moves a bit slowly at times, but don't give up.Read more