Doris Lessing


Born
in Kermanshah, Iran
October 22, 1919

Died
November 17, 2013

Website

Genre

Influences


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 later had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, rema
...more

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“Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”
Doris Lessing

“What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.”
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Polls

2019 1st Quarter Long Read Poll

 
  95 votes, 27.9%

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand1168 pages, 1957
 
  70 votes, 20.6%

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, 640 pages, 1962
 
  68 votes, 20.0%

Le Morte D' Arthur by Thomas Malory, 938 pages, 1485
 
  56 votes, 16.5%

 
  51 votes, 15.0%

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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