WEST WITH THE NIGHT appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s. Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license. In 1936 she determined to fly solo across the Atlantic -- without stopping. When Charles Lindbergh did the same, he had the wind behind him. Markham, by contrast, had a strong headwind against her and a plane that only flew up to 163 mph. On 4 September, she took off ...Several days later, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia and became an instant celebrity.
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Born in England in 1902, Markham grew up in East Africa. She apprenticed as a trainer and breeder of racehorses and in the 1930s became an African bush pilot. In 1936 she became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. Markham died suddenly in 1986.From AudioFile:
In a memoir almost lyrical in quality, Beryl Markham shares the story of her remarkable life. Raised in the early twentieth century on her father's farm in British East Africa, Markham became a racehorse trainer and accomplished aviator. Markham's rich and poetic passages are deftly caressed by narrator Anna Fields. Her phrasing and pacing make the most of writing that is at times as complex as it is inspired. Especially notable are Fields's portrayal of Africansâ her wistful humor, and her reverence for nature. Native words and names are gracefully intertwined in the narrative. Fields does justice to this rich memoir, praised by Ernest Hemingway as "bloody wonderful." N.M.C. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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