West with the Night


I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine. I learned to wander. I learned what every dreaming child needs to know — that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it. These I learned at once. But most things come harder.

Beryl Markham, West with the Night

How is it possible to bring order out of memory? I should like to begin at the beginning, patiently, like a weaver at his loom. I should like to say, “This is the place to start; there can be no other.”

But there are a hundred places to start for there are a hundred names…

So the name shall be Nungwe:

Date: 16/6/35
Type of aircraft: Avro Avian
Journey — Nairobi to Nungwe
Time — 3 hrs 40 min
Pilot — Self

So begins, West with the Night by Beryl Markham.

It was one of the first books written by an Aviatrix, that I read after I obtained my private pilot license. Not the least because, there is some overlap with people and places, with the book that became a popular movie, “Out of Africa” written by Isak Dinesen.

Flying in early 20th century was precious. Being a women, and flying in early 20th century was incredible!

The book, West with the Night,  covers the authors experiences of living and flying in Kenya, Nairobi, Tanzania and more. If the mention of Kifaroo or Muthaiga club makes you nostalgic, this might be a book for you. If you are a fan of Out of Africa and the BBC TV series In the Heat of the Sun, this might be the book for you.

On September 4th, 1936 Beryl Markham took off from Abingdon, England and after a 20 hour flight, crash landed in Nova Scotia, Canada. She was the first women to cross the Atlantic solo. She was the first women to fly from England to North America, non-stop, from east to west.

You can read all about the adventure in the book.

The book can be purchased as hardcover, paperback, audio or Kindle edition. Here is the description from Amazon:

Beryl Markham’s life was a true epic, complete with shattered societal expectations, torrid love affairs, and desperate crash landings. A rebel from a young age, the British-born Markham was raised in Kenya’s unforgiving farmlands. She learned to be 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 from east to west, a feat that fellow female aviator Amelia Earhart had completed in reverse just a few years before. Her successes and her failures—and her deep, lifelong love of the “soul of Africa”—are all chronicled here with wrenching honesty and agile wit. Hailed by National Geographic as one of the greatest adventure books of all time, West with the Night is the sweeping account of a fearless and dedicated woman.

One thought on “West with the Night

  1. flynthings October 19, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Fly 'n Things and commented:

    Words on Wednesday 2….

    Always nostalgic thinking about Out of Africa!

    Like

Comments are closed.