January Meet-up: Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

Please join me in January when we read a work with a famous literary heroine!  Hope to see you all!  Carissa

Out of Africa is a memoir by Isak Dinesen, a pen name used by the Danish author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke. The book, first published in 1937, recounts events of the seventeen years when Blixen made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is a lyrical meditation on Blixen’s life on her coffee plantation, as well as a tribute to some of the people who touched her life there. It is also a vivid snapshot of African colonial life in the last decades of the British Empire. Blixen wrote the book in English and then translated it into Danish.

Karen von Blixen-Finecke (17 April 1885 – 7 September 1962), Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen names Isak Dinesen. She also wrote under the pen names Tania BlixenOsceola andPierre Andrézel. Blixen wrote works in Danish, French and English.

Blixen is best known for Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya, and one of her stories, Babette's Feast, both of which have been adapted into highly acclaimed, Academy Award-winning motion pictures. Prior to the release of the first film, she was noted for herSeven Gothic Tales, for which she is also known in Denmark.



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  • Andrea P.

    Good discussion!! Just wish we had a little quieter room to hear everyone's insightful comments. Inspired me to give some of the vignettes another look over.

    1 · January 15, 2014

    • Carissa

      Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't head back to Faz since we could at least hear ourselves. Thoughts?

      1 · January 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    FYI: For those interested in further reading on tonight's topic:

    On the author's lover:
    Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Sara Wheeler

    On the European aristocrats in Kenya:
    The Ghosts of Happy Valley by Juliet Barnes

    3 · January 14, 2014

    • Carissa

      Thanks for adding Jeff!

      January 14, 2014

  • Carissa

    Thanks everyone for coming out tonight. Great discussion! Great to see some new folks this evening!

    1 · January 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I so LOVE this book! Thx to everyone for listening to me go on about it. I am actually glad of the mixed opinions - it helps to clarify one's thinking. Really enjoyed meeting everyone and hearing their thoughts!

    3 · January 14, 2014

    • Carissa

      Thanks Catherine! I love having a diversity of opinion around the table....makes the conversation more interesting!

      1 · January 14, 2014

  • Marilyn

    Oh no, I feel like I'm coming down with the flu…I'm so sorry to cancel so late, but I am going straight to bed. This is awful! I'm so bummed - I wanted to talk with you all about the book! Especially everyone's thoughts about Karen Blixen's relationships with the Kukui and all of her workers. Carissa, I apologize for missing this - one of my favorite books too….

    January 14, 2014

    • Carissa

      Feel better Marilyn!

      1 · January 14, 2014

    • Andrea P.

      Will miss seeing you Marilyn!! Feel better.

      2 · January 14, 2014

  • Debi B.

    I've been in bed with a cold and just read that I cleared the wait list. I'm so sorry I won't be able to make it and apologize for the last minute cancel. This is my very favorite book and I'm so disappointed I going to miss out.

    January 14, 2014

    • Carissa

      Feel better Debi!

      January 14, 2014

  • Jeni

    Feb for sure!!

    January 13, 2014

  • Jeni

    What's the March theme again?

    January 10, 2014

    • Carissa

      Compare and contrast any two works!

      January 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just Googled Spice Monkey and see that it is a full service restaurant. Are we having dinner here?

    January 9, 2014

    • Carissa

      Catherine, feel free to order dinner, a snack, or just a beverage. This is a casual, social event and anything goes!

      January 9, 2014

  • Garrick S.

    I was hoping my class schedule wold give me time this semester but no. I will stay in touch.

    January 4, 2014

    • Carissa

      We miss you Garrick! Andrea, I just remembered that Garrick posted the recipe: http://www.meetup.com...­

      January 4, 2014

    • Garrick S.

      Thank you. I miss you all as well. Hopefullly I will be able to take one day offf school and join in.

      January 4, 2014

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