Isak Dinesen (April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962) was the pen name of the Danish author best known for Out of Africa (1937), a memoir of her life as the owner of a coffee plantation in Kenya. Karen von Blixen-Finecke, née Karen Christenze Dinesen was born a Baroness into a family of aristocrats, merchants, and landed gentry. Her father was a peripatetic traveler, military man, politician, and writer who committed suicide when Karan was just nine years old.
Karen showed an early interest in writing, creating stories, plays, and poetry. After some early success in publishing stories, she put writing aside. In 1903 she started to study art in Copenhagen, much to her family’s disapproval.
I would challenge anyone to come up with a story that better illustrates the fine line between rejection and acceptance than Madeleine L’Engle’s: “A Wrinkle in Time was almost never published,” she wrote. “You can’t name a major publisher who didn’t reject it. When we’d run through forty-odd publishers, my agent sent it back. We gave up.” Most editors thought it too dark and complex for children.
After some time, L’Engle made contact with John Farrar of Farrar Straus Giroux through a friend of her mother’s, and the rest is publishing history. Published in 1962, A Wrinkle in Time is still in print, with millions of copies sold worldwide. It has the distinction of having won some of the most prestigious publishing awards, as well as being one of the most frequently banned books of all time. Read More→