West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Description: f the first responsibility of a memoirist is to lead a life worth writing about, Markham succeeded beyond all measure. Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she spent her life defying all expectations of how a woman should live and what a single person can achieve.

Markham and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet, horses for friends, and baboons, lions, leopards, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane and would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix — she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America.

Dedication: For My Father

Opening quote:

I speak of Africa and golden joys
HENRY IV, Act V, Sc.3

Opening: BOOK ONE: I: Message from Nungwe:
How is it possible to bring order out of memory? I should like to begin at the beginning, paiently, like a weaver at his loom. I should like to say, ‘This is the place to start; there can be no other.’

MUTHAIGA COUNTRY CLUB

I remained so happily provincial I was unable to discuss the boredom of being alive with any intelligence until I had gone to London and lived there a year. Boredom, like hookworm, is endemic.

Denys Finch Hatton

How quick this reads; it is over almost before it has begun. The typeset and size is easy on the eyes.

Now there is the either/or question

Blixen or Markham

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