Information about the author.
“I was born with skins too few. Or they were scrubbed off me by…robust and efficient hands.”
The experiences absorbed through these “skins too few” are evoked in this memoir of Doris Lessing’s childhood and youth as the daughter of a British colonial family in Persia and Southern Rhodesia Honestly and with overwhelming immediacy, Lessing maps the growth of her consciousness, her sexuality, and her politics, offering a rare opportunity to get under her skin and discover the forces that made her one of the most distinguished writers of our time.
Walking in the Shade covers the years 1949 -1962, from Lessing’s arrival in London with her son, Peter, and the manuscript of her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, under her arm to the publication of her most famous work of fiction, The Golden Notebook.
This was the period of the Cold War, a poisonously political time, but Doris Lessing reminds us—in perhaps the book’s most striking achievement—of what has been forgotten: that it was a time also of idealism and hope, of a sense of personal responsibility for the world, and of generosity of the imagination. She describes how communism dominated the intellectual life of the ‘50s—it is hard now to appreciate how much—and how she, like nearly all communists, became disillusioned with extreme and rhetorical politics and left communism behind. …[more]
A highly personal story about returning to her African roots by the eminent British writer, African Laughter is also a rich and penetrating portrait of Doris Lessing’s homeland. In it she recounts the visits she made to Zimbabwe in 1982, 1988, 1989 and 1992, after being exiled from the old Southern Rhodesia for twenty-five years for her opposition to the white minority government. The visits constitute an unforgettable journey to the heart of a country whose history, landscape, people and spirit are evoked by Lessing in a dazzling narrative of vivid detail and poignant scenes.
Swooping from the verandahs to the grass roots and back again, noting the kinds of changes that can be appreciated only by one who has lived there before, Lessing embraces every facet of life in Zimbabwe from the lost animals of the bush to political corruption, from AIDS to a successful communal enterprise created by poor rural blacks. She talks with white farmers and black…[more]
A self-satisfied couple intent on raising a happy family is shocked by the birth of an abnormal and brutal fifth child.
In a London squat a band of bourgeois revolutionaries are united by a loathing of the waste and cruelty they see around them as they try desperately to become involved in terrorist activities far beyond their level of competence.
Only Alice seems capable of organising anything. Motherly, practical and determined, she is also easily exploited by the group and ideal fodder for a more dangerous and potent cause. Eventually their naïve radical fantasies turn into a chaos of real destruction, but the aftermath is not as exciting as they hoped. Nonetheless, while they may not have changed the world, their lives will never be the same again.
The Sirian Experiments is the third volume in Doris Lessing’s celebrated space fiction series. “Canopus in Argos: Archives”. In this interlnked quintet of novels, she creates a new, extraordinary cosmos where the fate of the Earth is influenced by the rivalries and interactions of three powerful galactic empires, Canopus, Sirius and their enemy, Puttiora. Blending myth, fable and allegory, Doris Lessing’s astonishing visionary creation both reflects and redefines the history of own world from its earliest beginnings to an inevitable, tragic self-destruction.
The Sirian Experiments chronicles the origins of our planet, the three galactic empires fight for control of the human race. The novel charts the gradual moral awakening of its narrator, charts the charts the gradual moral awakening of its narrator, Ambien II, a ‘dry, dutiful, efficient’ female Sirian administrator. Witnessing the wanton colonisation of land and people, Ambien begins to question her involvement in such insidious experimentation, her faith in the possibility os human progress itself growing weaker every day.
A fascinating look inside the mind of a man who is supposedly “mad.”