Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

Out of Africa is a memoir book by a Danish author, Karen Blixen. The book is based in Kenya. The book was published in 1937, and it follows Karen’s life on her coffee plantation in Kenya, then known as British East Africa, for 17 years.

Karen’s Years in Africa

Karen moved to British East Africa (Kenya) in 1913 and married her second cousin, a Swedish baron by the name of Von Blixen-Finecke. Their original business plan was in dairy cattle, as they settled near Nairobi, but after the First World War had increased the coffee prices, the couple started their own coffee plantation.

After a few successful marriage years, the relationship went downhill – the couple separated in 1921 and divorced in 1925. It was then when she started to farm alone as she took over the management of their plantation. She managed it until 1931 when the farm had sunk into an immense debt, and she was forced to sell the lands. Karen moved back to Europe to stay with her mother and started to write about her experiences in Africa. The book, Out of Africa, was published in 1937 after a few fictional writings from her.

Country Life

In her book, Out of Africa, Karen Blixen writes about many various themes. She writes about being an immigrant, about the contrasts between African and European culture, country life and town life, and of course about the struggles she had while farming. She writes about the beautiful and special things she got to experience: the animals and amazing nature she was surrounded with while living her 13 years in Africa.

Kenya has changed a lot since The British East African times – for anyone interested in the African colonial periods and history, as well as its nature, this is a great book to read. It has reached a status as a classic.It is a real-life memoir based on real characters. Karen writes interestingly about the villagers, and about the different African tribes. She also writes about some European characters and colonists, one of them being her lover after the divorce from her husband.

Full and Lyrical Language

The book, Out of Africa was originally written in English and later translated to Danish, and again to other languages. It was written with a lyrical tone, the language being rich and full. Before her farming career in Africa, Karen had started a writing career. This can be seen from her writing – she definitely was not completely new to it.