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No Hurry to Get Home: The Memoir of the New Yorker Writer Whose Unconventional Life and Adventures Spanned the Century

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4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  155 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Emily Hahn was a woman ahead of her time, graced with a sense of adventure and a gift for living. Born in St. Louis in 1905, she crashed the all-male precincts of the University of Wisconsin geology department as an undergraduate, traveled alone to the Belgian Congo at age 25, was the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai, bore the child of the head of the British Secret ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 9th 2000 by Seal Press (first published November 2000)
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Rene Saller
Apr 16, 2013 Rene Saller rated it it was amazing
The fact that Emily Hahn doesn't have a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame depresses me almost as much as the knowledge that hardly anyone knows who she is anymore. She was not only a superb writer, among the best of the New Yorker's golden era; she was a fascinating human being and an admirable person. In one of this collection's most amusing and fascinating essays, she describes her years in China as an opium addict and then the bizarre and mysterious cure that she underwent, which involved hy ...more
Gisela Hausmann
Sep 05, 2015 Gisela Hausmann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, travel
Set aside Emily Hahn's addiction to opium smoking her biography tells of the life I would have liked to live. "Mickey" (Emily Hahn's nickname) lived her life the way she wanted to live it. She was the first woman to graduate in mining, from the University of Wisconsin, in 1928. She traveled alone to the Belgian Congo and crossed Central Africa on foot. She traveled Africa, England and China at a time when women were supposed to stay at home and raise their children. I was not surprised to find o ...more
Bonnie Kassel
Jul 22, 2013 Bonnie Kassel rated it it was amazing
An artist friend recommended this author to me and I'm embarrassed to say I'd never heard of her even though Emily Hahn wrote 52 books and contributed to The New Yorker for more than seventy years. An unconventional woman way ahead of her time, Ms. Hahn drove cross-country to Santa Fe before there were roads, hacked her way through Africa alone in the 1930s--adventures most women wouldn't undertake even years later. No Hurry to Get Home turned out to be a good book to begin with as it covered th ...more
nicole raymond
Aug 29, 2007 nicole raymond rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
I adore this book, it will always be one of my favoites. great to read aloud, the short stories that weave together here to make a kind of biography of personal essays is so incredible, the writing so ahead of its time it will blow your mind. mickey hahn is the best kind of real heroine I have encountered - sassy, smart and a thrill-seeking proto-feminist journalist at that.
Michael Armijo
Mar 22, 2016 Michael Armijo rated it really liked it
I had this one on my bookshelf in Palm Springs and randomly selected it. It's a group of collected stories that are actual 'segments of her life'. When I write 'her' I am referring to the author, Emily Hahn, who was one remarkable woman when one considers all she accomplished. She was born in St. Louis, MO in 1905 and lived until age 92 (died in 1996). I won't spoil it all but she knew how to live life.

These words in particular had me identify with her 'completely'. When I worked an 8-5pm job i
...more
Tbfrank
Jul 30, 2012 Tbfrank rated it really liked it

I came across Emily (Mickey) Hahn's name in connection with some research I was doing on another woman traveler and writer of the same era. This lead me to seek out her books. I found this one an exceptional pleasure to read and I'm sorry to admit I had not recognized her name despite her long association with the New Yorker magazine.

The style is easy, flowing and personal; the tone conversational and open. She repeatedly expresses a sense of wonder at her own behavior, being neither overly crit
...more
Nicolás Rivas
The life of Emily Hahn reminds of the Bitter Sweet Symphony video from The Verve: to the front and straight, never look back, just one word: yes. What else can you ask to life that your biography turns out to be an inspiring book, one of those that are constantly asking you why are you reading at all, and not travelling, running, living the adventure. You get that feeling of being in the middle of one of infinite worlds that fantasy or science fiction struggles so hard to find sometimes. It is s ...more
Caroline
Jul 21, 2007 Caroline rated it liked it
While I enjoyed some of the early essays on Hahn's family life in Chicago and St. Louis and while the extent of her travel and her degree of societal defiance are impressive, I ended up tuning out during some of the stuff on the engineering degree and Shanghai. Sometimes I felt she was a little high on herself. And why on earth was she so surprised over and over again at the way men of the time responded to her solo travels? It seems to me that after the first ten times of being treated with sus ...more
Elizabeth
Apr 20, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2012, memoir
An amazing woman whose essays (basically New Yorker articles tweaked to work together in a memoir format) are a great read. Hahn did things women just didn't back in the 20's and 30's. She majored in mining engineering, basically to prove that a woman could. She traveled cross country by car, pre-interstate, pre-Motel 6, and pre-7-11. She walked across Africa. She lived alone in the Belgian Congo. She was an independent traveler at a time when independent travel was usually called "exploration" ...more
Laura
Jul 02, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
If you love travel memoirs, in particular those that feature intrepid, if initially slightly naive women, early 20th century history an exotic locales, get the to this book! Emily Hahn was a great writer and and great traveler and I cannot believe I let this book sit on my shelf for soma by years before finally getting to it. Read it. You can thank me later.
Sharon
Mar 06, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing
I started this book on a bright sunshiny day and finished it on a thunderous, rainy day...I loved everthing about this,from the moment I read the first few words to the moment I closed the book covers.
I imagine that everyone, given the opportunity to sit and write their life experiences, could influence others with their stories...perspective is everything. Emily Haun wrote more about her experiences on the outskirts of many great world stories, than the actual event in history, itself. Thus sha
...more
karenology
Mar 01, 2011 karenology rated it it was amazing
Before reading this stunning memoir by Emily (Mickey) Hahn, I just assumed that the 1920s and 30s was a generally bleak time to be a woman, and that most were insane (a la Zelda Fitzgerald) or depressed (Dorothy Parker). To the contrary, Hahn led an independent, adventurous and utterly enviable life by modern standards. Cross-country road trip in a Model-T? Trekking through the Congo? Bumming around China as WWII began to ravage the continent? I'd be impressed by someone who did these things now ...more
Eleanor
Jun 21, 2009 Eleanor rated it really liked it
When I started this book, I thought it was going to progress in the style of other memoirs of American women born in the early 20th century. And for a while it did replete with standard scenes like, "the time a boy saw my ankles." Scandal!

But sentences like the following which starts of one of the chapters caused me to do a literary double take: "Though I had always wanted to be an opium addict, I can't claim that as the reason I went to China".

Despite a tendency to make jokes out of situations
...more
Roxann Kelly
I enjoyed, but not as much as her biography b Ken Cuthbertson. Emily is originally from St. Louis. Besides all of her travels, she wrote for the New Yorker.
Heather
Feb 08, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
What a spunky woman! I loved reading most of her stories but several I had to skim through.
Jean
Sep 29, 2013 Jean rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring woman - really did what she wanted - very independent - inquisitive - but not afraid to show her soft and vulnerable side. She has a witty way with words/thoughts. Example - "My blind, voiceless body was carried cautiously, slowly to the bottom of the drive, bumpety-bump across the cattle drive, grindingly around the bend, and on toward Kivu. Kivu!"
Ricky German
Oct 15, 2012 Ricky German rated it it was amazing
Her pet gibbon, Mr. Mills is my favorite character! I love reading books about socialites and other fabulous people with glamorous jobs. If you don't know about Emily Hahn, you need to. I find the bits about her opium use the most interesting, but it would also be a fun book to read from a journalism perspective.
Spoon Popkin
Jun 13, 2009 Spoon Popkin rated it it was amazing
Whoa. Emily Hahn wrote about her travels for the New Yorker for her entire life and what an incredible life! In the 1930's she traveled from the Congo to Shanghai, where she sought out and became addicted to opium. She makes every step alive and desirable.
Stina
Feb 16, 2010 Stina rated it really liked it
This is more like a collection of autobiographical short stories than a memoir, which is a positive, imo. Most of them were new yorker columns first and they're all fascinating. Reading this makes me wish I knew the author and could hang out.
Alice Shands
Feb 14, 2012 Alice Shands rated it it was amazing
What a trail blazer! This memoir is so inspirational. Emily "Mickey" Hahn never accepted that she had to do things the way they had always been done and as a result led an exciting and full life of adventure.
Melissa
May 17, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I read this about once a year. Hahn gets in trouble for wearing pants, and keeps on trucking from there. A great reminder of how much progress feminists have made in the last 100 years. You've come a long way baby!
Elizabeth
This book was just so enjoyable. What an amazing woman! Emily Hahn continually challenged what was expected of her.
Kaley
Feb 28, 2015 Kaley rated it it was amazing
Such an interesting woman and I loved seeing the world through her eyes in the early 20th century.
Katharine Holden
Dec 23, 2012 Katharine Holden rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Wonderful. Personal without being confessional. Funny. Sad. Never a dull moment.
L Greyfort
Aug 02, 2011 L Greyfort rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, memoir
Wow! Hard to imagine someone packing much more into one lifetime!
Dana Bundy
Nov 07, 2009 Dana Bundy rated it it was amazing
I absofreakinglutely adore this book. more...more... more...
Gia
Jun 27, 2009 Gia rated it it was amazing
fascinating stories and great history
Anika
Feb 11, 2013 Anika rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books.
Carrie Pirmann
travel narratives
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"Mickey" Hahn was called "a forgotten American literary treasure" by The New Yorker magazine; she was the author of 52 books and more than 180 articles and stories. Her father was a hardware salesman and her mother a suffragette. She and her siblings were brought up to be independent and to think for themselves and she became the first woman to take a degree in mining engineering from the Universi ...more
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