Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Memoriam - Doris Lessing

http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Authors/3406/Novelist, poet, and biographer (just to begin the list) Doris Lessing (M) has passed away at the age of 94.

When we think of writers who will still be read in one hundred years, we surely think of Doris Lessing. Lessing was born in another place and time - in Iran in 1919 to British born parents Captain Alfred Tayler and Emily McVeagh, who were the subjects of her recent and final novel Alfred and Emily (M).  She spent her childhood on a farm in what was then Southern Rhodesia and this becomes the setting for her first novel, The Grass is Singing  (M),

"Set in Southern Rhodesia under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is at once a riveting chronicle of human disintegration, a beautifully understated social critique, and a brilliant depiction of the quiet horror of one woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.

Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm works its slow poison. Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of Moses, an enigmatic, virile black servant. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses—master and slave—are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion, until their psychic tension explodes with devastating consequences." publisher.

Doris Lessing's life and writings reflected the history of the twentieth century, and although her opinions and beliefs were not always popular or politically correct, many found their own voice in her writing. The Golden Notebook (M) is considered to be a feminist classic by many, but not by Lessing herself.

"The Golden Notebook', the landmark novel by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing, is a powerful account of a woman searching for her personal, political and professional identity amid the trauma of emotional rejection and sexual betrayal. In 1950s London, novelist Anna Wulf struggles with writer's block. Divorced with a young child, and fearful of going mad, Anna records her experiences in four coloured notebooks: black for her writing life, red for political views, yellow for emotions, blue for everyday events. But it is a fifth notebook - the golden notebook - that finally pulls these wayward strands of her life together. Widely regarded as Doris Lessing's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, 'The Golden Notebook' is wry and perceptive, bold and indispensable." - publisher
Read Margaret Atwood's affectionate tribute to Doris Lessing and her legacy.

http://discover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/?q=title:alfred%20and%20emilyhttp://discover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/?q=title:%22sweetest dream%22lessinghttp://discover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/?q=title:general dann mara

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