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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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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  35 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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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Rene Saller
Jan 15, 2013 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
Shelley
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you liked Martha Gellhorn's book Travels with Myself, you'll like this one. Emily Hahn is a good writer and had wild adventures across the globe in the 1930's and 1940's. She starts out with her early home life in the U.S. in the 1920's and that may seem boring compared to the rest of the book, but I thought the beginning was also an interesting portrait of ordinary life for young women in the Midwest, though Hahn wasn't an ordinary woman. Hahn deserves to be better known.
Gisela Hausmann
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel, biography
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
Amelia
Sep 26, 2017 added it
A very well-written set of essays tacked together to form a memoir of some interesting times, mostly in the 1920s-30s.
nicole raymond
Aug 29, 2007 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.
Flannery Meehan
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best essays ever written.
Michael Armijo
Jan 11, 2016 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 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
Elizabeth
Apr 06, 2012 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
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 18, 2007 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
Bonnie Kassel
Jun 09, 2013 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
Eleanor
Jun 21, 2009 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
Sharon
Mar 04, 2013 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
Jan 24, 2011 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
Laura
Jun 29, 2015 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.
Ricky German
Oct 14, 2012 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.
Jean
Sep 22, 2013 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!"
Melissa
May 17, 2007 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!
Mimi
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book I got as a present, would never have known about this delightful book by an amazing woman who traveled all over when a woman traveling alone in Africa and China was pretty unusual, plus her writing is excellent..
Spoon Popkin
May 24, 2009 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 05, 2010 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 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.
Heather
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
What a spunky woman! I loved reading most of her stories but several I had to skim through.
Dana Bundy
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I absofreakinglutely adore this book. more...more... 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.
Katharine Holden
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Wonderful. Personal without being confessional. Funny. Sad. Never a dull moment.
Elizabeth
This book was just so enjoyable. What an amazing woman! Emily Hahn continually challenged what was expected of her.
L Greyfort
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, travel
Wow! Hard to imagine someone packing much more into one lifetime!
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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