Portrait, book frontpage
Photo: Morten Holtum


The Lioness – Karen Blixen in Africa
(Løvinden – Karen Blixen i Afrika)
Published 2019, 702 pages



Foreign rights:

Monica Gram

Sold to:

Germany (Penguin Verlag, Verlagsgruppe Random House)

Previous titles sold to:

England (Profile Books), Germany (Osburg Verlag), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk Forlag), Spain (Ediciones del Viento)




The Lioness

- Karen Blixen in Africa

In Africa, they called her ‘The Lioness’. She arrived in January 1914 with big dreams of a new, free and exciting life, but left this huge continent almost destitute in 1931. Capturing Blixen’s spellbinding style and great talents as a storyteller, and making use of previously secret and extensive correspondence, which makes it possible to paint a new and revealing portrait of the ‘Lioness’, Tom Buk-Swienty provides a gripping account of Blixen’s life in Kenya; marked as it was by economic hardship, magnificent safaris, crop failure, world war, recession, divorce, passionate love and boundless enthrallment with the country and its native population - and then the loss of everything. The farm went bankrupt and Denys Finch Hatton was killed in a plane crash. Blixen was deeply distraught and attempted suicide, but almost miraculously began at that very moment to write in earnest. Back in Denmark she eventually won worldwide fame as the ‘story-teller’.

About the author:

Tom Buk-Swienty, (b. 1966), author, journalist and assistant professor of history at the University of Southern Denmark. Buk-Swienty is well known for his award-winning and bestselling documentary stories about the 1864 war: The Dybbøl Slaughter Bench (2008) and Doomsday - Als (2010). Subsequently, Buk-Swienty published highly acclaimed books about Karen Blixen’s father, Wilhelm: Captain Dinesen - Fire And Blood (2013) and Captain Dinesen – Till Death Us Do Part (2014). In 2016, he continued the Dinesen family story with Tommy and Tanne (2016), and is now a major literary talking point again with his biography of Karen Blixen and her time in Africa: The Lioness (2019)

Text translated by Paul Larkin