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

Our genre for May is literary/general fiction. Please vote for the selection you would like to read. Poll will be up for one week. Last day to vote will be Tuesday, April 8.

The Stone Diaries The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields Carol Shields
 
  3 votes, 20.0%

Bel Canto Bel Canto by Ann Patchett Ann Patchett
 
  3 votes, 20.0%

A Thousand Acres A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley Jane Smiley
 
  3 votes, 20.0%

Love in the Time of Cholera Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
 
  2 votes, 13.3%

The Alchemist The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Paulo Coelho
 
  1 vote, 6.7%

The Invisible Circus The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan Jennifer Egan
 
  1 vote, 6.7%

The Golden Notebook The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing Doris Lessing
 
  1 vote, 6.7%

The Master The Master by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín
 
  1 vote, 6.7%

All the Pretty Horses All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1) by Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

The Green Knight The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch Iris Murdoch
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Every one's Choice: A Tie for April 57 45 Apr 02, 2010 11:55PM  
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The Book Challenge: Kuutar's challenges for 2010 24 79 Aug 31, 2010 09:33AM  
South African Boo...: 2010 A-Z Author Challenge 11 98 Sep 15, 2010 08:48AM  
Knight-Reading: This topic has been closed to new comments. Reading Log Week of 9/27/10 3 12 Oct 03, 2010 08:48PM