Isak Dinesen (ē´säk dē´nəsən), pseud. of Baroness Karen Blixen, 1885–1962, Danish author, who wrote primarily in English. In 1914 she married Baron Blixen and went to live in British East Africa, on a coffee plantation. She was divorced in 1921 and took over the management of the plantation where she lived until 1931, when falling coffee prices forced her to return to Denmark. From her experiences she wrote her autobiographical Out of Africa (1937), which became a successful film. Dinesen is best known for her tales, many of which have eerie, supernatural elements. Her works include Seven Gothic Tales (1934), Winter's Tales (1943), Last Tales (1957), and Anecdotes of Destiny (1958). Writing despite severe illness, Dinesen finished the African sketches Shadows on the Grass in 1960.
See her Letters from Africa, 1919–1931 (1981); biography by P. Migel (1967) and studies by E. O. Johannesson (1961), R. W. Langbaum (1964), F. Lasson and C. Svendson (1970), D. Hannah (1971), J. Thurman (1982), and B. Wamberg, ed. (1985).
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