Read West With The Night by Beryl Markham Free Online
Book Title: West With The Night|
The author of the book: Beryl Markham
ISBN 13: 9780140115390
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: 1988
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 756 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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This letter from Ernest Hemingway to Maxwell Perkins in 1942 sums up the book better than I ever could:
"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people's stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book."--Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway almost NEVER sang the praises of other writers, especially not his contemporaries. As result, his acclaim for Markham's work can be seen as high praise indeed.
I've read this book twice, and it truly is a wonderful read. Her writing is beautiful and seems nearly effortless. There is, however, quite a bit of controversy surrounding this book and its authorship. Some scholars believe that Markham did not actually write the book, that it was acutally penned by Raoul Schumacher, a scriptwriter and acquaintance of Markham's. Either way, the point is moot -- this truly is "a bloody wonderful book."
One more item of note: notice the ellipsis in the last sentence of Hemingway's letter. I looked it up online to see if anything significant was omitted. The answer is YES -- in this part of the letter, Hemingway describes Markham as being a supreme bitch!!
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Read information about the authorBorn in England, Beryl (Clutterbuck) Markham moved to a farm near the Great Rift Valley in Kenya (then British East Africa) with her family when she was four years old. She spent an adventurous childhood among native Africans and became the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya.
She continued to be a non-conformist and trailblazer in both her professional and personal lives, marrying several times (and having numerous affairs). She also became an accomplished pilot, and was one of the first to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic from east to west (against prevailing winds) on September 4, 1936.
Her most famous book is the memoir "West With The Night", which went out of print shortly after its publication in 1942, until it was rediscovered by a California restaurateur in 1982 and achieved new popularity upon republication in 1983, during the final years of her life.
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