Isak Dinesen The Life of a Storyteller

Judith Thurman




Trade Paperback

512 Pages



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Winner of the National Book Award

With exceptional grace and insight, Judith Thurman 's classic work explores Dinesen's life—her privileged but unhappy childhood in Denmark, her marriage to Baron Blixen, their immigration to Africa on the eve of World War I, and her passionate affair with Denys Finch Hatton. Until the appearance of this book, the life and art of Isak Dinesen have been—as Dinesen herself wrote of two lovers in a tale—"a pair of locked caskets, each containing the key to the other." Thurman's masterful biography is a key to the life as well as the art.


Praise for Isak Dinesen

"This, like the best biographies, is a book in which the reader can live."—Margaret Drabble, The New York Times Book Review

"Splendid, inestimably valuable . . . I cannot imagine that it will be supplanted. Right now it is the essential book on Isak Dinesen."—Chicago Tribune Book World

"Absorbing biography . . . This is a gothic tale worthy of the author of Seven Gothic Tales."—Victoria Glendinning, The Washington Post Book World

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Judith Thurman

  • Judith Thurman, critic and biographer, has won the National Book Award and two foreign literary prizes for her work. She is the also the author of Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and The New York Times, among many other publications. She lives in New York City.