The classic memoir of Africa, aviation, and adventureâ€”the inspiration for Paula McLainâ€™s Circling the Sun and â€śa bloody wonderful bookâ€ť (Ernest Hemingway).
Beryl Markhamâ€™s life story is a true epic. Not only did she set records and break barriers as a pilot, she shattered societal expectations, threw herself into torrid love affairs, survived desperate crash landingsâ€”and chronicled everything. A contemporary of Karen Blixen (better known as Isak Dinesen, the author of Out of Africa), Markham left an enduring memoir that soars with astounding candor and shimmering insights.
A rebel from a young age, the British-born Markham was raised in Kenyaâ€™s unforgiving farmlands. She trained as a bush pilot at a time when most Africans had never seen a plane. In 1936, she accepted the ultimate challenge: to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west, a feat that fellow female aviator Amelia Earhart had completed in reverse just a few years before. Markhamâ€™s successes and her failuresâ€”and her deep, lifelong love of the â€śsoul of Africaâ€ťâ€”are all told here with wrenching honesty and agile wit.
Hailed as â€śone of the greatest adventure books of all timeâ€ť by Newsweek and â€śthe sort of book that makes you think human beings can do anythingâ€ť by the New York Times, West with the Night remains a powerful testament to one of the iconic lives of the twentieth century.