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Preview — Alfred & Emily by Doris Lessing
Alfred & Emily
In this extraordinary book, the 2007 Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing explores the lives ...more
I must admit that I was a little intimidated to read it. Let's face it: the whole Author Was A 2007 Nobel Laureate thing is a bit overwhelming for a girl whose last couple reads were a YA novel and a poorly written mystery. For the first half, at least, though, the book is downright delightful. I loved it - I was ready to go out and read everything Doris Lessing has ever written. Then, abruptly, the beautiful fiction ends and some seemingly random nonfiction begins. The book ...more
It makes very little sense, I will say that much. Objectively, it's a weird read and really fragmented and even inside each of the fragments there is tons of narrative hopping around like it's normal. Doris Lessing won a Nobel Prize ("Oh, Christ"), wrote this book not long after ...more
The first half, the imagined biography of her parents as if the war never came, is at times as strange and subtly sinister as the speculative, dystopian Memoirs of a Survivor, varying its tone unobtrusively from the stilted distance of real biography to the intimacy of loving concern, to the gossipy energy of anecdote. Unromanticised, yet edifying pictures are dra ...more
I thought there might be more exploration of the gravity of history and fate and how our lives are shaped by forces beyond our control. Echoes of this, perhaps, but not enough to sustain my inter ...more
While I was intrigued by the creative premise of this book, I was frustrated by the stilted and distanced feel to the narrative in the novella section. The o ...more
Is it a novel, that is, fiction? Is it non-fiction, a twin biography of her parents? In fact Alfred & Emily is both. It is kept in the fiction shelves, among other true works of that genre, in the National Library (KL); the librarians presume it to be this. The first half of the book reads just like fiction. It tells the story of one Alfred and another of Emily. Unlike in real life, when they were Lessing’s parents, these two met at a cricket match, but later married other people instead. At ...more
E’un romanzo sulla vita dei suoi genitori, composto da due parti distinte : nella prima l'autrice racconta una delle loro possibili vite se la prima guerra mondiale non li avesse colpiti. Una sliding doors letteraria: cosa sarebbe successo se avessero vissuto vite autonome e senza l’ esperienza della guerra? Che persone sarebbero diventate? La seconda parte, invece, narra la reale storia dei due protagonisti.
E’ molto interessan ...more
كتبت عن والدها ألفريد الفلاح الإنجليزي والجندي بالساق الخشبية بعد أن فقد ساقه خلال الحرب العالمية، وهذا ما أضفى طابع أدب الح ...more
"If I could meet Alfred Tayler and Emily McVeagh now, as I have written them, as they might have been had the Great War not happened, I hope they would approve the lives I have given them. -- Doris Lessing from Alfred and Emily
This was a very strange ...more
Alfred had wanted to be a farmer, but lost a leg in the first World ...more
Yeah, not so much. This book drags, as if a few pages in ...more
I liked the novella - she didn't give them perfect lives, but real ones that included regret and ambiguity. The memoir section was interesting too, about their life on a farm in Rhodesia. Her mother imagined it would be like Happy Valley in Kenya, and it wasn' ...more
In Alfred & Emily, groundbreaking author Doris Lessing returns to the subject matter explored in her 1994 autobiography, Under My Skin. Fans will recognize common themes and details, but Lessing's outlook and tone have softened. Critics were touched by her genuine attempt to understand her overbearing, self-absorbed mother, though her writing is still tinged with resentment. Lessing's fictional novella is no fairy tale, but most critics found it unconvincing. Why invent a fictional life if i...more
The later half is biographical, describing her parents' lives, especially those years they spent farming, unsuccessfully, in Rhodesia. The trauma her father suffered in WWI colours life and family relationships, whilst Doris' mother is portrayed as a frustrated creative woman. This section of the book is reasonably interesting, but not brilliant.
In contrast, the first half of the book is boring and dry. Doris proposes fictitious alternative lives for her pare ...more
دوريس تكتب عن والديها "ألفريد وإميلي "
هدا الكتاب ليس سيرة فقط ..
بل شيء من أدب الحرب ..
"في الحرب العالمية كانت تعمل "إميلي "ممرضة ..و"ألفريد"في الجيش
في الفصول الاولى تسرد دوريس طفولة كل من ألفريد وإميلي ..ثم اللقاء في الحرب ..
محزن ...! جميل ..!.شعور غريب ..!
أن يكتب الإنسان سيرة حياته بعد 90عام ...لا ليس فقط سيرته بل سيرة والديه ..
دوريس التي كانت تكره أمها "إميلي " رغم أنها كانت هي أكثر من يقدم لها الكتب ...
تعلن دوريس ندمها على ذلك ..
إميلي التي كانت في صباها عنيدة لأمها . ...more
In het 2e deel wordt het werkelijke verhaal verteld; alfred raakt zwaar gewond in de oorlog en wordt verpleegd door Emily. Zij trouwen, vertrekken naar Perzie waar Doris geboren wordt. Later betrekken ze een boerderij in het toenmalige Rhodesie.