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.
'Immensely satisfying . . . splendid imaginative creations, the work of a writer of stature.' The Times Literary Supplement
'Acutely perceptive, often mysterious stories.' Sunday Telegraph
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. Although she had written occasional contributions to Danish periodicals since 1905 (under the nom de plume of Osceola), her real debut took place in 1934 with the publication of Seven Gothic Tales, written in English under her pen-name. Out of Africa (1937) is an autobiographical account of the years she spent in Kenya. Most of her subsequent books were published in English and Danish simultaneously, including Winter's Tales (1942) and The Angelic Avengers (1946), under the name of Pierre Andrezol. Among her other collections of stories are Last Tales (1957), Anecdotes of Destiny (1958), Shadows on the Grass(1960) and Ehrengard (1963). She died in Rungsted in 1962.