Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa: The Untold Story

Linda Donelson, Author
Linda Donelson, Author Coulsong List $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-9643893-1-1
Hardcover - 381 pages - 978-0-9643893-0-4
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In December 1913, after marrying Bror Blixen, Baroness Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) of Denmark boarded a steamship in Naples bound for East Africa, beginning one of the more intriguing adventures undertaken by a 20th-century woman. Donelson's well-researched biography of Blixen's years in Kenya is an absorbing read that will grab readers whether or not they are familiar with Out of Africa. Donelson's depiction of Blixen is decidedly less romantic than Blixen's own but no less intriguing for that. A medical doctor, Donelson argues that Blixen was cured of the syphilis her husband had given her in their first year of marriage, and that her illness was instead a result of years of taking arsenic as a cure. Unlike many Europeans, Blixen took an active interest in Africa's language, culture and people and reveled in its unique beauty. Donelson, who spent many years living in the Ngong Hills of Kenya, re-creates colonial Africa's physical, political and social milieu in remarkable detail. Intelligently and skillfully organized, the book offers a sympathetic yet candid portrait of Blixen and her complex relationships with her husband and with her lover, Denys Finch Hatton. (May)
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