Isak Dinesen earned international fame for Seven Gothic Tales and Out of Africa, and other stories that skillfully combine elements of fable, social conflict, and psychological drama. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize. Yet the story of her life-her travels, affairs, and friendships-remains the greatest story of all. Christened with the name Karen, the moody, headstrong, youngest of three sisters was nicknamed "Tanne" for much of her childhood. She was determined to become an artist. After she married Baron Blixen, she was the mistress and landowner "Tania" to those she knew and loved in her new African home. Finally, it was with the name "Isak" meaning "one who laughs" that she became known to the world as a master storyteller. Each period of her life provided Dinesen with rich characters and horizons for her brilliant writing. Noted biographer and critic Judith Thurman draws on Isak Dinesen's letters, unpublished manuscripts, and family documents in this compelling biography. Winner of the National Book Award, Isak Dinesen gracefully reveals the connections between a remarkable woman's literary creations and her fascinating life.