New feature: Isak Dinesen – the author and her work, by Claire Hazelton
Carrie Dunn // 2 April 2014
Known most commonly by her pen name Isak Dinesen, but also as Tania Blixen, Pierre Andrézel and Osceola, the Norwegian author and Baroness Karen Blixen was regarded as quite the mystery during her lifetime.
After the publication of her first book, Seven Gothic Tales, in 1934, speculation about her identity became commonplace amongst literary circles; myths that she was a nun, a recluse, a man, a brother and sister duo, a Parisienne, a Londoner and so on circulated continuously.
Considering the ongoing ambiguity that surrounded her, it is perhaps unsurprising that her best known and most popular work is Out Of Africa, a memoir of her 17 years of ownership of and stay on a coffee plantation in Kenya: a work that tantalisingly reveals a segment of the life of an author so few fully knew.