Out of Africa

Front Cover
Modern Library, 1937 - Biography & Autobiography - 399 pages
836 Reviews
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

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.
  

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5 stars
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4 stars
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Lovely writing and insightful. - Goodreads
This book was difficult to read, from start to finish. - Goodreads
This book is second to none for visual imagery. - Goodreads
Beautiful prose that gave a glimpse of a bygone era. - Goodreads
A wonderful insight into colonial East Africa. - Goodreads
It can get a little dry since there is no overall plot. - Goodreads

Review: Out of Africa

User Review  - Laura - Goodreads

I saw the movie Out of Africa a few years ago, at the urging of my mentor. I fell in love at once with Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton's love story and with Karen's farm. That love only grew ... Read full review

Review: Out of Africa

User Review  - Miss Vivienne Stone - Goodreads

"I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills" and all that. But it's actually quite an interesting read if you can settle into her rhythm of writing. I enjoyed reading her memoir since I'm ... Read full review

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Contents

The N gong Farm
3
A Native Child
23
The Savage in the Immigrants House
44
A Gazelle
67
The Shooting Accident
89
Riding in the Reserve
103
Wamai
115
Wanyangerri
131
The Wild Came to the Aid of the Wild
257
The Iguana
265
Of the Two Races
273
The Swaheli Numeral System
281
Kitoschs Story
287
Pania
296
The Earthquake
304
George
305

A Kikuyu Chief
148
Big Dances
165
A Visitor from Asia
178
Old Knudsen
195
A Fugitive Rests on the Farm
204
Visits of Friends
213
The Noble Pioneer
220
Wings
233
FellowTravellers
314
A Strange Happening
322
Hard Times
329
The Death of Kinanjui
343
The Grave in the Hills
353
Farah and I Sell Out
372
Farewell
390
Copyright

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About the author (1937)

Isak Dinesen was born Karen Christentze Dinesen in Rungsted, Denmark on April 17, 1885. She studied English at Oxford University and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. During her lifetime, she wrote plays, short stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction works. Her career as a writer spanned from 1907 to 1962. She was published in Danish under the name of Karen Blixen and in English under the pseudonym of Isak Dinesen. Her short story collections include Seven Gothic Tales, Winter Tales, and Last Tales. Her nonfiction book, Out of Africa, was published in 1937 and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Meryl Streep in 1985. She died of emaciation September 7, 1962.