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WEST WITH THE NIGHT

Author: Beryl Markham

This is about an extraordinary woman, a remarkable writer, and a fascinating place. Markham was raised by her father on a large farm in British East Africa in the early twentieth century. As a child she preferred spear hunting with the natives to going to school. At seventeen, when her father lost their farm and went to Peru, she chose to stay in Africa and began a successful career as a race horse trainer. In her twenties she gave up horses and started flying airplanes, becoming the first woman in East Africa to be granted a commercial pilot's license, then the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo from east to west. This book is her autobiography but it is also about Africa.

Originally published in 1942 and reissued in 1983, this is much more than a story of aviation, revealing a poet's feeling for the land, an adventurer's engagement with life, and a philosopher's insights into the human condition.

Ernest Hemingway in a letter to Maxwell Perkins
"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."
From Library Journal
Markham's West with the Night was originally published in the early 1940s and disappeared, only to be rediscovered and reprinted in the 1980s when it became a smash hit. This latest incarnation is a lavishly illustrated edition (note: not this edition). Though Markham is known for setting an aviation record for a solo flight across the Atlantic from East to West-hence the title-she was also a bush pilot in Africa, sharing adventures with Blor Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton of Out of Africa fame. Hemingway, who met Markham during his safari days, dubbed the book "bloody wonderful."
$15.00 (softcover)
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