West With the Night
by Beryl Markham
- Nowhere in the book is there much evidence of strong emotion on her part, even through there are some hair-raising episodes. What in her upbringing and background do you think led to this detached attitude?
- In the chapter entitled, “Hodi,” we find her realistic view of the racial inequities of her time. Do you think if she had lived on into our era of “political correctness,” she would have been so apparently accepting of these divisions? Can you find anything in the book to substantiate your answer?
- Nowhere does she mention her mother or brother. What do we find out about her relationship with her father?
- At some point after its original publication, Markham’s detractors claimed that her 3rd husband, a Hollywood screenwriter (Raoul Schumacher) actually wrote or strongly assisted her writing this book. (See the note above the copyright in the text). Her biographer, Mary Lovell, refutes this charge and Beryl herself “contemptuously dismissed” the rumor that she didn’t write the book herself (info from Straight on till Morning, by Mary Lovell, 1987, St. Martin’s Press). This biography was started before Beryl Markham died in 1986, and contains quotes from personal interviews with Markham.
- Are the any references or allusions in the book itself that could be used as evidence of enough “book education” to refute the accusations that she did not write the story alone?
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