Books From A to Z – Out of Africa

Out of Africa: and Shadows on the Grass is Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories “like Scheherazade.” In Africa, “I learned how to tell tales,” she recalled many years later. “The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds.” Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called “one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century.

My Take: Out of Africa

I found Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her years in Africa interesting reading. Her stories depict the various characters that she encountered during these years, juxtaposed with insights into the culture and traditions of the people. And whilst Europe and the rest of the world was in a churn during the period between the two world wars, time appears to have stood still in the world of the author.



We’re taking part in the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.


  1. A very interesting book though I remember seeing the movie a long time ago. I think I ‘ll revisit it.

  2. Haven’t read the book, but thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Meryl Streep was fabulous, as she always is in every character she plays. A good book to review for O.

  3. Reminds me of a song by Toto called Africa. Was there fora year in Kinshasa somewhere in 1986 and had a blast only as a child can 🙂


  4. Oops I dont know how ur post came up mine is………….


    • I was very intrigued by your oats recipe. Maybe you should share some more such recipes, which might help some of us to eat oats. You are lucky to have spent time in Kinshasa before it went through turmoil.

  5. I have this as e-book and I didn’t care to read it also, after I watched movie, I wanted to read it but was bored to read it as pdf 🙁

  6. I have not read this book either. Of course I saw the movie and was mixed between loving it and being bored.
    I may need to give it another try.

  7. Have not read the book butovie was awesome

  8. After seeing the movie, I am sure that the book will appear boring. After all, you have an image of Meryl Streep in you mind and you somehow cannot relate this image to that of the author of the book.

  9. Great story, though I have only seen the movie. It is a fascinating tale of Africa and the customs and traditions of that time. Crisp, short and sweet review.

  10. Have neither read the book, nor seen the movie, so this is going to be a very fresh experience for me !! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. I never read the book but was thoroughly engrossed in the movie. My brother lived in Africa for close to 50 years so it was even more special

    Carol @ Battered Hope

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