is a memoir written by Emily Hahn, a prolific writer and adventurer who lived an unconventional life during the first half of the 20th century. The book provides a fascinating glimpse into Hahn’s early years, from her childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, to her years as a student at the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University in New York City.
Hahn’s life was marked by a sense of restlessness and a desire for adventure. She rebelled against the conventional expectations placed on women during this time period and pursued a life of freedom and independence. In the early 1930s, she embarked on a journey to the Belgian Congo, where she worked as a freelance journalist and lived among the local tribes.
“Beginners Luck” focuses primarily on Hahn’s early years, before she became a seasoned traveler and writer. The book offers insights into her family background, including her mother’s struggles with mental illness, and her own struggles to find her place in the world. Hahn’s writing is characterized by a candid and witty tone, and she reflects on her experiences with a sense of humor and a deep appreciation for the joys and challenges of life.
Throughout the book, Hahn writes about the various jobs and experiences that shaped her early years, from working as a waitress in a New York City nightclub to serving as a housemother in a college dormitory. She also reflects on her relationships with men, including a brief marriage to a fellow student at Columbia and a tumultuous affair with a married man.
Despite the challenges she faced, Hahn maintained a sense of optimism and a determination to live life on her own terms. She writes with a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around her, and her descriptions of the people and places she encountered are vivid and engaging.
Overall, “Beginners Luck” is a captivating memoir that offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the most adventurous and unconventional women of the 20th century. Hahn’s writing is both insightful and entertaining, and her memoir is a testament to the power of determination, courage, and a spirit of adventure. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of women’s rights, the history of travel and exploration, or simply in the life of one of the most fascinating women of the 20th century.