Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing

Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Olive Schreiner and Nadine Gordimer), Lessing made herself into a self-educated intellectual. In 1937 she moved to Salisbury, where she worked as a telephone operator for a year. At nineteen, she married Frank Wisdom, and had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Soon she was drawn to the like-minded members of the Left Book Club, a group of Communists "who read everything, and who did not think it remarkable to read." Gottfried Lessing was a central member of the group; shortly after she joined, they married and had a son.During the postwar years, Lessing became increasingly disillusioned with the Communist movement, which she left altogether in 1954. By 1949, Lessing had moved to London with her young son. That year, she also published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer.In June 1995 she received an Honorary Degree from Harvard University. Also in 1995, she visited South Africa to see her daughter and grandchildren, and to promote her autobiography. It was her first visit since being forcibly removed in 1956 for her political views. Ironically, she is welcomed now as a writer acclaimed for the very topics for which she was banished 40 years ago.In 2001 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain's most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. She also received the David Cohen British Literature Prize. She was on the shortlist for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.(Extracted from the pamphlet: A Reader's Guide to The Golden Notebook & Under My Skin, HarperPerennial, 1995. Full text available on www.dorislessing.org).
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
The Golden Notebook
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Doris Lessing
The Grass is Singing
Doris Lessing
The Grass is Singing
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The Cleft, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
The Cleft
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The Grandmothers, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
The Grandmothers
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Martha Quest, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Martha Quest
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Mara and Dann, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Mara and Dann
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Ben, in The World, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Ben, in The World
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The Sweetest Dream, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
The Sweetest Dream
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Love, Again, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Love, Again
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Alfred and Emily, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Alfred and Emily
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A Proper Marriage, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
A Proper Marriage
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Landlocked, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Landlocked
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A Ripple From the Storm, Doris Lessing
In Pursuit of the English, Doris Lessing
African Laughter, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
African Laughter
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Walking in the Shade, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Walking in the Shade
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The Real Thing, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
The Real Thing
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Time Bites, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Time Bites
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Going Home, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Going Home
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