I love it when a book you picked up not expecting to be a horsey book turns out to be a horsey book.
West with the Night by Beryl Markham is the memoirs of the first woman to solo across the Atlantic the hard way, east to west, flying against the winds. It's gorgeously written, and she's a true artist with language. Paints wonderful pictures of Africa during her childhood.
But she also loved horses and was raised with them, which I hadn't known. Her father bred TBs to race and had a large farm. There are all sorts of horse anecdotes tucked in regularly among her other memories.
I was raised on the edge of the Rift Valley and we knew a lot of the names she mentions. I was given the opportunity to school a horse during my gap year (ha - school, at that age, what did I really know!?), but in the years before horse trailers had to ride this green 4 y.o. called Pavan from Njoro to our place, about 25-20 miles. In the blazing sun, by myself, my parents let me do it. Near the end of the ride I decided to take a short cut through a farm, nobody would have a clue where I was and it was during the Mau Mau terrorist uprising.
I can't believe it myself, but it is true.
Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique
Foxtrot's - as amazing as it sometimes seems to me that any of us survived childhood, especially one involving horses, your tale takes the cake.
It literally gave me a chill reading the last sentence.
On a happier note:
I loved the stories of Doris Lessing - when she wrote of her childhood in Africa.
No horses, but it made me dream of growing up in such an exotic land.
I hope you also have a chance to read anything by Nadine Gordimer (particularly Sport of Nature), but all her stuff is great, as is Achebe (things fall apart). It is still beautiful and exotic - Lamu! Kiwaiyo! so, although different than it was under Kenyatta (1964-something or other) and certainly the Brits (not loved), still a wonderful place. If you like movies about Africa, a lovely little gem is Mississippi Masala, with Denzel Washington. THe story mostly takes place in MI but has some lovely scenes filmed in Uganda, really gorgeous (and a kick ass soundtrack!)
Oh a few- kuki gallmann wrote I dreamed of Africa - about her experiences in Kenya, started a rhino sanctuary, had a number of tragedies, good story,
There is White Mischief , also about colonial brits and a murder, entertaining
There are for the most part white folks stories Things Fall Apart is not. A very interesting story, Nigerian. Sport of Nature, for sure!
Ngugi wa Thiong o is wonderful, Petals of Blood or Grain of Wheat all about Kenya, BY a Kenyan (I think!!) wonderful wonderful reading.
An there is always No picnic on Mt Kenya (italian POW climbs Mt Kenya)- I climbed the same point and it;'s pretty glorious.
I a always looking for good reading material and I am excited about finding all of these that have been mentioned. Of course have read Out From Africa, but not the others. I trust that what is recommended on the BB is not fluff!