Winter's Tales

      Isak Dinesen
Winter's Tales

In Isak Dinesen's universe, the magical enchantment of the fairy tale and the moral resonance of myth coexist with an unflinching grasp of the most obscure human strengths and weaknesses. A despairing author abandons his wife, but in the course of a long night's wandering, he learns love's true value and returns to her, only to find her a different woman than the one he left. A landowner, seeking to prove a principle, inadvertently exposes the ferocity of mother love. A wealthy young traveler melts the hauteur of a lovely woman by masquerading as her aged and loyal servant.

Shimmering and haunting, Dinesen's Winter's Tales transport us, through their author's deft guidance of our desire to imagine, to the mysterious place where all stories are born.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


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    Babette's Feast

      Isak Dinesen
Babette's Feast

'And it happened when Martine or Philippa spoke to Babette that they would get no answers, and would wonder if she had even heard what they said … Orshe would sit immovable on the three-legged kitchen chair, her strong hands in her lap and her dark eyes wide open, as enigmatical and fatal as a Pythia upon her tripod. At such moments, they realised that Babette was deep, and that in the soundings of her being there were passions, there were memories and longings of which they knew nothing at all.'

Babette's Feast is a sublime celebration of eating, drinking and sensual pleasure. In Isak Dinesen's life-affirming short story, two elderly sisters living in a remote, god-fearing Norwegian community take in a mysterious refugee from Paris one night - and are rewarded for their kindness with the most decadent, luxurious feast of a lifetime.


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    Last Tales

      Isak Dinesen
Last Tales

Last Tales is a collection of twelve of the last tales that Isak Dinesen wrote before her death in 1962. They include seven tales from Albondocani, a projected novel that was never completed; "The Caryatids," an unfinished Gothic tale of a couple bedeviled by an old letter and a gypsy's spell; and three tales of winter, including "Converse at Night in Copenhagen," a drunken, all-night conversation between a boy-king, a prostitute, and a poor young poet.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


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    Seven Gothic Tales

      Isak Dinesen
Seven Gothic Tales

Originally published in 1934, Seven Gothic Tales, the first book by "one of the finest and most singular artists of our time" (The Atlantic), is a modern classic. Here are seven exquisite tales combining the keen psychological insight characteristic of the modern short story with the haunting mystery of the nineteenth-century Gothic tale, in the tradition of writers such as Goethe, Hoffmann, and Poe.


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    Out of Africa

      Isak Dinesen
Out of Africa

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.

From the Hardcover edition.


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    Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard

      Isak Dinesen
Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard

In the classic "Babette's Feast," a mysterious Frenchwoman prepares a sumptuous feast for a gathering of religious ascetics and, in doing so, introduces them to the true essence of grace. In "The Immortal Story," a miserly old tea-trader living in Canton wishes for power and finds redemption as he turns an oft-told sailors' tale into reality for a young man and woman. And in the magnificent novella Ehrengard, Dinesen tells of the powerful yet restrained rapport between a noble Wagnerian beauty and a rakish artist.
Hauntingly evoked and sensuously realized, the five stories read and novella collected here have the hold of "fairy stories read in childhood . . . of dreams . . . and of our life as dreams" (The New York Times).


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