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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 spent her life defying all expectations of how a woman should live and what a single person can achieve.Markham and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet, horses for friends, and baboons, lions, leopards, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane and 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.