Thursday, July 29, 2010
Beryl Markham, WEST WITH THE NIGHT
An old favorite that I read years ago, when I was (!) 24. The autobiography of a woman who grew up in colonial Kenya; as a child, she ran with kids in the bush and was nearly killed by a wild boar; at age 16 she was training world-class race horses; ten years later she was flying medical equipment and running safaris all over Africa. Born in 1902, she was the first woman to fly west across the Atlantic, against the headwinds, before crash-landing in Nova Scotia. She was Denys Finch-Hatton's mistress (you'll remember him as Robert Redford in OUT OF AFRICA) and was actually supposed to be on the plane that he died on. There's some debate about whether she actually wrote the book--Errol Trzebinski swears that one of her several husbands ghost-wrote it for her. But no matter. It's a fabulous read.