Penguin Essentials Out Of Africa

Mass Market Paperback | May 17, 2011

byKaren Blixen

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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.

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From the Publisher

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,...

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...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 7.1 × 4.4 × 0.8 inPublished:May 17, 2011Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0241951437

ISBN - 13:9780241951439

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Customer Reviews of Penguin Essentials Out Of Africa

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the best memoir I've ever read "Out of Africa" by Isak Dinesen, a.k.a. Karen Von Blixen was not a very good book. Although there were some pretty interesting characters and themes, it was lacking in several elements that make a good memoir. On the whole, it did not succeed as an effective memoir. I'll start with the positives. "Out of Africa" succeeded in having good character building. The characters were interesting, well developed, and changed throughout the novel as the events around them shaped them. There were several really interesting, layered characters who were enjoyable to read about, such as the narrator, Karen Von Blixen, the comical, friendly african boy, Kamante, and Karen's love interest, the big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton. Von Blixen had a lot to say regarding social commentaries on African society, and her proposed ideas regarding race, social status, etc. were interesting, and it was interesting to see how her ideas changed. She managed to narrate the story but also develop her own character, and use stories in her life to launch into deeper analysis of larger ideas. Kamante, who started off as a diseased, sickly, grim child, turned into the story's main comic relief and a lovable character who I could relate to. But despite these good characters, there were a good deal of things about this memoir that weren't so good. One aspect that "Out of Africa" failed to have was a good narrative structure. The biggest issue here is that it was not written in chronological order. The memoir was made up of a recollection of several events of Von Blixen's life in Kenya, thrown together in no particular order, not in the sequence of when they happened. A good memoir should be written in chronological order so you could follow what is happening better, but this story was not, and so I could not follow what was happening as well. Another major aspect of good memoir writing that "Out of Africa" failed to have was self-discovery or self-inquiry. With all the focus on other characters, outside events, and philosophical ideas, Von Blixen fails to write much about her own self-discovery. When she writes about stories and events that happened in her life, she usually leaves out how they affected her, or what she felt because of it, or how the event changed her. She doesn't discover anything new about herself. The lack of self-discovery or self-inquiry in the novel sometimes made it feel more like a history book than a memoir. All in all, "Out of Africa" was not the best memoir I have ever read. Although it had good character building, it failed to have a good narrative structure or any self-discovery or self-inquiry, which all good memoirs should have. I was not too impressed with this book. Oh well!
Date published: 2013-10-07