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West with the Night by Beryl Markham

West with the Night (1942)

by Beryl Markham

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English (50)  Spanish (2)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
No matter how many times I read this book, I still find new things with it every time.
One of those "If you want to shake yourself at the end and say "Wait a minute--aren't I in Africa?" type books.
Not a real admirable person, but boy can she write! ( )
  crucena | Mar 17, 2014 |
So well written. Spare and honest. I recommend it to everyone who likes to feel that they are living another life at another time. She takes you there.
  Marssie | Mar 2, 2014 |
A fantastic and unforgettable memoir by a woman who grew up in British East Africa and who became an aviator, racehorse trainer, and all-around boss lady there. What a life! It's not just anyone who can claim to have been "moderately eaten by a lion." Some of the stories are incredible, and the writing is excellent: clear and evocative. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Beryl Markham was an extraordinary lady. She could train race horses to perfection, track lions and elephants, and speak Swahili with the natives. She was the first person to fly the Atlantic solo westbound. She was also an extraordinary writer.
Her autobiography, West With The Night is one of the best books I have listened to in a long time. The cassette version is ably read by Julie Harris. Several of the passages were so striking that we listened to them more than once. I particularly like the time she and famous hunter Bror Blixen faced down an elephant in the African bush.
She was born in England almost nothing is told of her mother - and followed her father to British East Africa where, it seems, she was allowed to pretty much "run with the natives." She learned many of their hunting and tracking skills, not to mention their language, but once grown the racial biases of her 1920's white heritage had taken hold. She remarks with only a small sense of regret that native children she formerly had played side-by-side with, now had to walk behind her.
She tells her life with such understatement that you may want to read one of the biographies that have appeared since the 50th anniversary of her historic flight.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Memoir with stunning writing about the life in the old Africa, detailing some of Markham's childhood, her relationship to horses, dogs, and wild animals, and her love of flying. Unusual for not telling about her 3 marriages or her son, this is an eloquent book about losses and cultures. ( )
  sleahey | Sep 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beryl Markhamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gellhorn, MarthaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I speak of Africa and golden joys." -- Shakespeare, Henry IV, Act V, Sc. 3
For my Father
"I wish to express my gratitude to Raoul Schumacher for his constant encouragement and his assistance in the preparations for this book."
First words
"How is it possible to bring order out of memory?"
Namen sind die Schlüssel für Türen, hinter denen Halbverschüttetes liegt, verschwommen für den Verstand, vertraut jedoch im Herzen. - S.14
Niemals zögern oder zaudern, niemals sich umdrehen und niemals glauben, dass eine Stunde, an die man sich erinnert, eine bessere Stunde ist, weil sie tot ist. Vergangene Jahre scheinen sichere Jahre zu sein, eine entschwundene, gefahrlose Zeit, während die Zukunft, wie in einer konturlosen Wolke, aus der Ferne bedrohlich wirkt. Dringt man in die Wolke ein, so klart sie auf. - S. 144
Ich lernte, was jedes träumende Kind wissen muss - dass kein Horizont zu weit ist, um bis zu ihm und über ihn hinaus vorzustoßen. - S. 198
Was immer der Mensch unternimmt, Würde erlangt sein Bemühen erst, wenn echte Arbeit dahintersteckt, und fühlt man dann das Bedürfnis, sein - im Wortsinn - Handwerk auszuüben, so begreift man, dass die anderen Dinge - all die Experimente, die Eitel- und Nichtigkeiten, denen man nachjagte - ganz einfach unsinnig waren. - S. 298
...every farmer is a midwife. There is no time for mystery. There is only time for patience and care, and hope that what is born is worthy and good. p. 121
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From book cover: 'More than a biography; a poet's feeling for her land; an adventurer's response to life; a philosopher's evaluation of human beings and human destinies'.
This unusual and beautifully written memoir was first published in 1942 to huge critical acclaim. Beryl Markham was born in England in 1902 and has lived in Africa since the age of four. Her father, a horse-breeder, scholar and adventureer, chose East Africa because 'it was new and you could feel the futuer of it under your feet'. She spent her childhood playing with Murani children, hunting with the Murani cheiftan and witnessing her father's patience and labour as he transformed a stretch of wilderness into a working farm. She learnt to speak Swahili, Nandi, Masai. In adolescence she was apprenticed to her father as a trainer and breeder of racehorses, and at eighteen became the first woman in Africa to be granted a racehorse trainer's license.

IN 1931, Beryl Markham turned to flying. She carried mail, passengers and supplies to the remote corners of Kenya, the Sudan and was was then Tanganyika and Rhodesia. In September1936 she made worl headlines by becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west - taking off from England and crash landing in Nova Scotia twenty-one hours and twenty-five minutes later. This evocative book is rare and remarkable testimony to an Africa that no longer exists.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0865471185, Paperback)

One of the most beautifully crafted books I have ever read, with some of the most poetic prose passages I could imagine, such as the following, resonating with a stately and timeless quality so absent in our modern life:
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.
Born in England in 1902, Markham was taken by her father to East Africa in 1906. She spent her childhood playing with native Maruni children and apprenticing with her father as a trainer and breeder of racehorses. In the 1930s, she became an African bush pilot, and in September 1936, became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:49 -0400)

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West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.

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