Sch-I.Dinesen's Africa

Isak Dinesen, Author, Diana Landau, Editor Random House (NY) $35 (142p) ISBN 978-0-87156-821-2
In her memoir, Out of Africa, and in short stories, Danish-born writer Dinesen evoked a timeless Africa distilled from her 18 years on a Kenya coffee plantation. This lovely-looking but ultimately shallow picture book, a tie-in with the film based on Out of Africa, splices excerpts from Dinesen's autobiographical writings, stories and letters with color photographs of Africa's land, people and wildlife. For readers familiar with her works, the album is pleasant enough, though readers expecting visual signs of today's real, changing, troubled Africa will be disappointed. In an almost apologetic introduction, Judith Thurman, Dinesen's biographer, notes that the writer was not a conservationist, enjoyed big game hunting and had paternalistic, feudal relationships with Africans. Nevertheless, Dinesen upheld the dignity and value of African culture, and her rhythmic prose captured the complex poetry of Africa's landscape. These positive qualities are rendered in photos taken by Peter Beard, Galen Rowell, Frank Connor and others. November 20
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
Hardcover - 978-0-517-63215-4
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