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Out of Africa

Out of Africa

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'Out of Africa' is Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories "like Scheherazade." In Africa, "I learned how to tell tales," she recalled many years later. "The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds." Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called "one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century."

Isak Dinesen (1885-1962_ was born Karen Christence Dinesen in Rungsted, Denmark. She wrote poems, plays, and stories from an early age, including 'Seven Gothic Tales', 'Winter's Tales', 'Last Tales', 'Anecdotes of Destiny', 'Shadows on the Grass' and 'Ebrengard'. 'Out of Africa' is considered her masterpiece.