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Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
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Out of Africa (1937)

by Isak Dinesen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,890721,858 (3.95)314
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» See also 314 mentions

English (61)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Was a little to deep for me I guess. ( )
  pamur | May 18, 2018 |
Out of Africa is more a meditation or anthropology of Africa than an autobiography. It is a memoir of Danish author Karen Blixen. Karen Blixen ran a coffee farm in Kenya for 17 years in what was British East Africa. Blixen brings to life the people important in her life. She married her second cousin the Swedish Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, who is barely mentioned in the book. Nor is her divorce mentioned. After the divorce, Karen continued on the farm. The farm was never very good, it wasn't in the best place to be a successful coffee farm. Karen tried other things to make the farm successful but nothing was successful. She made it through WWI and returned to Denmark after and bedore the next war. I loved Karen Blixen's independence and willingness to work hard and her respect for the people and animals of Africa. Out of Africa is divided into five sections and is not necessarily linear. The first two focus primarily on Africans who lived or had business on the farm, and include close observations of native ideas about justice and punishment in the wake of a gruesome accidental shooting. The third section, called “Visitors to the Farm,” describes some of the local characters who considered Blixen’s farm to be a safe haven. The fourth, “From an Immigrant’s Notebook,” is a collection of short sub-chapters in which Blixen reflects on the life of a white African colonist. The he fifth and final section, “Farewell to the Farm,” the book begins to take on a more linear shape, as Blixen details the farm’s financial failure, and the untimely deaths of several of her closest friends in Kenya. The book ends with the farm sold, and with Blixen on the Uganda Railway, heading toward the steamer on the coast, looking back and watching her beloved Ngong Hills disappear behind her. The first part is fun and such a wonderful look at Africa (the anthropological section). I learned a lot about Somali African and I appreciated that having quite a few Somali in my home area. The final parts are reflections of the author's losses and love of Africa. This was the time of colonialism and many could fault the author for being a colonist but her love of Africa and friendship with the people and land tells me she was not a typical colonist. In her writing, the reader can picture the natural beauty and animal life being destroyed by the modernization that Europeans brought with them and Karen grieved this loss as well as her own loss. Themes include the difference between Africa and European justice and there are two trials that she details in the book. But Blixen does understand – and thoughtfully delineates – the differences between the culture of the Kikuyu who work her farm and who raise and trade their own sheep and cattle, and that of the Maasai, a volatile warrior culture of nomadic cattle-drovers who live on a designated tribal reservation south of the farm’s property. Blixen also describes in some detail the lives of the Somali Muslims who emigrated south from Somaliland to work in Kenya, and a few members of the substantial Indian merchant minority which played a large role in the colony’s early development. I felt her writing was free of prejudice and judgement. She was admired and loved by many Africans who continued contact with her even after she left the farm.

Karen Blixen according to the book, 1001 Books You Must Read, only narrowly missed the Nobel Prize for Literature. It calls this a novel about the death of imperialism in Africa and hailed as the greatest pastoral elegy of modernism. It is a book about Africa and the language is beautiful.

Rating 3.83 ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 13, 2018 |
Narrazione romantica della colonizzazione europea in Africa. ( )
  AlessandraEtFabio | Dec 22, 2017 |
Read this after seeing the movie. Wonderful book. I was glad that "If I know a song of Africa, does Africa know a song of me?" was an actual quote, as it is one of the most moving sentences I've ever read or heard. ( )
  laursand | Dec 10, 2017 |
i guess i can't really review this because I only got a quarter of the way through, but this book was mega boring. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dinesen, Isakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anttila, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Draesner, UlrikeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drudi Demby, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, ElspethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kielty, BernardineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundkvist, ArturTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moorehead, AlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlet, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Equitare, Arcum tendere, Veritatem dicere
Dedication
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I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
Quotations
A white man who wanted to say a pretty thing to you would write: "I can never forget you." The African says: "We do not think of you, that you can ever forget us."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679600213, Hardcover)

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful. The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today. This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

Legacy Library: Isak Dinesen

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183330, 0241951437, 0143566369

 

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