Regular price: $46.87

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Isak Dinesen earned international fame for Seven Gothic Tales, Out of Africa, and other stories that skillfully combine elements of fable, social conflict, and psychological drama. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize. Yet the story of her life - her travels, affairs, and friendships - remains the greatest story of all.

Christened with the name Karen, the moody, headstrong, youngest of three sisters was nicknamed "Tanne" for much of her childhood. She was determined to become an artist. After she married Baron Blixen, she was the mistress and landowner "Tania" to those she knew and loved in her new African home. Finally, it was with the name "Isak", meaning "one who laughs", that she became known to the world as a master storyteller.

Each period of her life provided Dinesen with rich characters and horizons for her brilliant writing. Noted biographer and critic Judith Thurman draws on Isak Dinesen's letters, unpublished manuscripts, and family documents in this compelling biography.

Winner of the National Book Award, Isak Dinesen gracefully reveals the connections between a remarkable woman's literary creations and her fascinating life.

©1982 Judith Thurman; (P)1997 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Winner, National Book Award, 1983

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Confused

Would you try another book from Judith Thurman and/or Davina Porter?

Davina Porter yes!

Would you be willing to try another book from Judith Thurman? Why or why not?

Yes, she was thorough.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Love Davina Porter's voice.

Could you see Isak Dinesen being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

no

Any additional comments?

Too much jumping here and there in her life. Would have preferred a more structured, synchronized biography. Informative but confusing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slight problem with the reader

Judith Thurman is brilliant. I loved the book! My only complaint is with Davina Porter. She does have a lovely voice and accent but she swallows words and phrases in every paragraph. When listening without headphones, in a car for example, this is very frustrating and annoying.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Underwhelmed

Would you try another book from Judith Thurman and/or Davina Porter?

Judith Thurman is an excellent biographer, but making Isak Dinesen into a GREAT writer was beyond her powers.

Would you ever listen to anything by Judith Thurman again?

Yes. Absolutely.

What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

Her somewhat breathless and portentous style is better suited to fiction.

What character would you cut from Isak Dinesen?

Karen Blixen

Any additional comments?

Can't win 'em all.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful