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West with the Night by Beryl Markham
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West with the Night (1942)

by Beryl Markham

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English (101)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
I've read Beryl Markham's memoir "West with the Night" a few times and it never disappoints. If you're looking for fierce women who broke through the gender barriers set up in their generation, Markham has to be high on the list. She raised and raced horses in Africa she was barely out of her teens, then learned to fly and became the first woman to cross the North Atlantic (though she crash landed before reaching her goal of New York.)

The book is beautifully written and segues nicely between the different periods of her life. I was interested to learn that she was friend with Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dineson) who she must have tortured by sleeping with Denys Finch-Hatton and spending so much time on safari's with Karen's ex-husband (in what at least appears to have been an affair from the outside.)

At any rate, Markham was fascinating lady who wrote a fascinating book. ( )
  amerynth | Mar 14, 2019 |
I loved this book. The writing was simply beautiful. Some critics think it was written by a ghost writer (her 3rd husband), but I don't have a problem with that. Great writing is great writing. Her life is a wonderful adventure! ( )
  anitatally | Feb 28, 2019 |
Dit is een overweldigend mooi boek, al krijg ik niet goed op een rijtje waarom ik het zo goed vind. Hoewel Markhams belevenissen avontuurlijk zijn, is het aspect ‘avontuur’ zeker niet doorslaggevend voor mijn appreciatie. Het boek is prachtig geschreven en de opbouw van het verhaal is vlekkeloos, maar ook dat is niet bepalend. Misschien is het toch in de eerste plaats de open blik waarmee de auteur naar alles en iedereen kijkt die je zo voor haar inneemt. Het boek speelt grotendeels in Brits Oost-Afrika, het huidige Kenia, in de eerste decennia van de twintigste eeuw, en – hoewel zij subtiel aangeeft hoe de Afrikaanse speelkameraad uit haar jeugd zijn sociale positie tegenover haar aanpast eens zij volwassen zijn (door haar anders aan te spreken) – toch is er op geen enkel moment ook maar iets te merken van koloniale superioriteit of neerbuigendheid. Het lijkt wel of Beryl Markham de eigenheid en de kracht van natuur, dier en mens niet alleen perfect aanvoelde maar er zich spontaan ook helemaal op instelde. Het is merkwaardig dat de auteur niets zegt over haar moeder, haar drie echtgenoten of haar zoon, maar dat stoort helemaal niet. Haar vader, die haar op vierjarige leeftijd als enig kind meenam naar Brits Oost-Afrika, komt wel voor in het boek. Ook hij neemt geen centrale plaats in. De weinige korte en zakelijke vader-dochter passages tonen echter op indrukwekkende wijze de onverbrekelijke band tussen hen beiden.

Met dank aan De Arbeiderspers voor deze nieuwe uitgave. ( )
  Frans_J_Vermeiren | Jan 21, 2019 |
1942 memoir chronicling her experiences growing up in Kenya (then British East Africa) in the early 1900s, leading to celebrated careers as a racehorse trainer and bush pilot there. It is considered a classic of outdoor literature and was included in the U.S.A.'s Armed Services Editions shortly after its publication. In 2004, National Geographic Adventure ranked it number 8 in a list of 100 best adventure books.
Markham is the first person to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight (a westbound flight requires more endurance, fuel, and time than the eastward journey, because the craft must travel against the prevailing Atlantic winds). ( )
  MasseyLibrary | Jan 5, 2019 |
1942 memoir chronicling her experiences growing up in Kenya (then British East Africa) in the early 1900s, leading to celebrated careers as a racehorse trainer and bush pilot there. It is considered a classic of outdoor literature and was included in the U.S.A.'s Armed Services Editions shortly after its publication. In 2004, National Geographic Adventure ranked it number 8 in a list of 100 best adventure books.
Markham is the first person to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight (a westbound flight requires more endurance, fuel, and time than the eastward journey, because the craft must travel against the prevailing Atlantic winds).
  MasseyLibrary | Dec 28, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beryl Markhamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gellhorn, MarthaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I speak of Africa and golden joys." -- Shakespeare, Henry IV, Act V, Sc. 3
Dedication
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?"
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
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.
Original title: West with the night
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:26 -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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