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HKDPL Non-fiction Book Club: Home

Schedule, discussion questions, book lists, author information, reviews, and more.

Contact information

For more information regarding the Non-fiction Book Club, please contact: Lori at lsalotto@rcls.org

Meeting Schedule

Next meeting:

Friday, May 13 at 11:00 am

 

This month's selection

May 2022

West with the Night by Beryl Markhan

If the first responsibility of a memoirist is to lead a life worth writing about, Markham succeeded beyond all measure. Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet; horses for friends; baboons, lions, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane. And she would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix―she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty.

And then there is the writing. When Hemingway read Markham's book, he wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins: "She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer . . . [She] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers . . . It is really a bloody wonderful book."

With a new introduction by Sara Wheeler―one of Markham's few legitimate literary heirs―West with the Night should once again take its place as one of the world's great adventure stories.

West with the Night - media links