Books

Out of Africa

Karen Blixen

'When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find that it is the same in all her music.'

In one of the most passionate memoirs ever written, Karen Blixen recalls running a farm in Africa at the start of the twentieth century, and the love affair that changed her life.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

Out of Africa

Karen Blixen

Karen Blixen's Out of Africa is the lyrical and luminous memoir of Kenya that launched a million tourist trails, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.

'I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . Up in this high air you breathed easily . . . you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.'

From the moment Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya in 1914 to manage a coffee plantation, her heart belonged to Africa. Drawn to the intense colours and ravishing landscapes, Blixen spent her happiest years on the farm, and her experiences and friendships with the people around her are vividly recalled in these memoirs.

Out of Africa is the story of a remarkable and unconventional woman, and of a way of life that has vanished for ever.

'With its lyrical and luminous picture of Kenya, it launched a million tourist trails' Guardian

'A compelling story of passion and a movingly poetic tribute to a lost land' The Times

A work of sincere power ... a fine lyrical study of life in East Africa - Harold Nicolson, Daily Telegraph

Karen Blixen was born in Rungsted, Denmark, in 1885. After studying art at Copenhagen, Paris and Rome, she married her cousin, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, in 1914. Together they managed a coffee plantation in Kenya until they divorced in 1925. She continued on the farm until a collapse in the coffee market forced her back to Rungsted in 1931.

Although she had written occasional contributions to Danish periodicals since 1905 (under the nom de plume of Osceola), her real debut took place in 1934 with the publication of Seven Gothic Tales, written in English under the pen name, Isak Dinesen. Out of Africa (1937) is an autobiographical account of the years she spent in Kenya. All of her subsequent books were published in both English and Danish, including Winter's Tales (1942) and The Angelic Avengers (1936). Among her other collections of stories are Last Tales (1957), Anecdotes of Destiny (1958), Shadows on the Grass (1960) and posthumously Ehrengard (1963). In the 1950s she was mentioned several times as a candidate to receive the Noble Prize in Literature.

Baroness Blixen died in Rungsted in 1962. In 1991 her house was opened as The Karen Blixen Museum.

Shadows on the Grass

Isak Dinesen (and others)

Isak Dinesen takes up the absorbing story of her life in Kenya begun in the unforgettable Out of Africa, which she published under the name of Karen Blixen. With warmth and humanity these four stories illuminate her love both for the African people, their dignity and traditions, and for the beauty and wildness of the landscape. The first three were written in the 1950s and the last, 'Echoes from the Hills', was written especially for this volume in the summer of 1960 when the author was in her seventies. In all they provide a moving final chapter to her African reminiscences.

Biography

Karen Blixen (17th April 1885 - 7th September 1962) was a Danish author who wrote in Danish, English and French, also known by the pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen married her cousin Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke in 1914 and moved with him to Kenya where they set up a coffee plantation. They divorced in 1921 and Blixen remained in Kenya for another ten years recording her experiences in her best-known work Out of Africa. In 1931 Blixen returned to Denmark where she would live until her death in 1962.