These five rich, witty and magical stories from the author of Out of Africa include one of her most well known tales, `Babette's Feast', which was made into the classic film. It tells the story of a French cook working in a puritanical Norwegian community, who treats her employers to the decadent feast of a lifetime. There is also a real-life Prospero and his Ariel in `Tempests', a mysterious pearl-fisher in `The Diver' and a brief, tragic encounter in `The Ring'. All the stories have a mystic, fairy-tale quality, linked by themes of angels, the sea, dreams and fate. They were among the last to be written by Isak Dinesen, and show her as a master of short fiction.
Isak Dinesen was the pen-name of Karen Blixen, who was born in Rungsted, Denmark in 1885. After studying art at Copenhagen, Paris and Rome, she married her cousin, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, in 1914. Together they went to Kenya to manage a coffee plantation. After their divorce in 1921, she continued to run the plantation until a collapse in the coffee market forced her back to Denmark in 1931.