The Splendid Outcast: Beryl Markham's African Stories

Beryl Markham, Author North Point Press $14.95 (139p) ISBN 978-0-86547-301-0
Written in the '40s for magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal and Collier's, these eight stories belong both to their time and to their author, the aviatrix and horse-trainer whose bestselling West with the Nightdetailing her 1936 solo flight east to west across the Atlanticwas recently reissued. About horses, flying and romance, the early autobiographical stories in particular are vivid with details of African custom and landscape gleaned from the author's early life in Kenya. The last four stories, more obviously fictional and broadly romantic, are likely collaborative efforts of Markham with either her third husband, writer Raoul Schumacher, or her friend and fellow writer, Stuart Cloete; they are more commercial and less satisfying. That this accomplished woman wrote tales so determinedly romantic seems rather odd; yet, as Mary S. Lovell observes in helpful and clearly written introductions, such was the magazine market in those war years. West with the Night and this volume comprise Markham's known written work. (October 1)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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