The Grass Is Singing
Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. 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 work their slow poiso...more
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The grass is singing cicada songs, songs of blood, songs of fr ...more
Doris Lessing's first novel has the precision of a fine short story and the depth of a longer novel. This portrait of the psychological disintegration of a farmer's wife saddled with an ineffectual husband on a luckless South African farm is precisely realized and and completely convincing.
The last quarter of the novel, however, is weaker than the rest. The character of the black house servant Moses is more of a symbol than a human being, and the ending--meant to be tragic--descends to melodram ...more
The tragic end of Mary Turner, a white woman, in the hands of Moses, her black servant, in a remote, hostile South African hel ...more
The novel is told in flashback. At the beginning of chapter one there is a brief news report of the murder of a white woma ...more
By Special Correspondent
Mary Turner, wife of Richard Turner, a farmer at Ngesi, was found murdered on the front veranda of their homestead yesterday morning. The houseboy, who has been arrested, has confessed to the crime. No motive has been discovered. It is thought he was in search of valuables.
For Lessing, the crime itself isn’t of interest -- it seems in some ways a foregonZimbabwe):MURDER ...more
****4.5 Stars**** I was shattered with the outcome of this novel. Disturbing. Unflinching. Compulsively readable.
Mary Turner is a hideous woman; bitter, cruel, entitled. What started out as a woman’s resentment over a boring farm life and a distant marriage soon turned into something deeper and much more unsettling. Sometimes people are broken so early in their life that it’s impossible to ever be ...more
Doris Lessing, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for literature, tells the incredibly haunting story of the disintegration and descent into madness of Mary and her husband Dick Turner, simultaneously revealing the scathing truths of apartheid-ruled life in Rhodesia. This was her first book, published in 1950. What a debut! I'm stunned, I have goosebumps; I'm unfit to do this book justice, to convey the claustrophobic, solitary descent the Turners ...more
One of the unusual things about this, Lessing's first published book, is the extreme omniscient author position she takes. She describes a character's appearance to others, then swoops into her psyche to reveal her thoughts. She describes someone's response to another person's expression and then jumps to his companion's view of him. To emphasise her power even further, she shifts from objective descriptions of the landscape to characters' experiences o ...more
― Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing
Amazing..rating and review to follow.
Sometimes a piece of literature comes along that just leaves you speechless. The Grass is singing is one such book.
So I believe I read this as a kid. It has been on my TBR list for several years and I wish I had read ...more
I found the book an ok read, I liked the setting of the novel and thought the author conveyed an excellent sense of time and place.
The story at the core of this novel is about race and the racist attitudes of society at this time in Southern Rhodesia.
The book is a challenging read and I found the characters quite dislikable and a relentless air of doom and gloom about the plot.
The novel opens with the anno ...more
----F. Scott Fitzgerald
Doris Lessing's, the Nobel Prize winning debut book, The Grass is Singing revolves around a youngish woman who after marrying a South African white farmer, and within a few years, looses herself and becomes a victim to immense loneliness as she realizes her husband's constant failure both in his farm as well as in their shared ...more
The novel is set in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe in the 1940s. At this time the country was governed according to the rules of apartheid, a system of institutionalized racism in which the white minority was socially, legally, and politically dominant over the black majority.
I had a feeling this was going to be a challenging book for me.
The opening chapter is very difficult to read, begins with a newspaper report about the murder of a white woman by a black m ...more
Was it civilization which led to colonization or was it the other way? Trying to find answer for this question would like trying to answer the ever puzzling question "Which came first: chicken or the egg? I am sure that there are apparently acceptable answers for the latter but not the former. Because civilization and colonization are confederates encroaching on the foreign lands, enslaving ...more
Page 1. Mary Turner has been murdered on the farm where she and her husband Dick live. That's about as pleasant as the book gets. So be warned. Lessing goes back from this gruesome scene to explain how Mary left her pleasant single life working in the city and ...more
Great story, this novel with a title taken from T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," ...more
While “The Grass Is Singin ...more
The book is set in Southern Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe) before the fight for ...more
It is quite painful to read Lessing's description of the wretched marriage of two people who should never have met, let alone married. That pain is matched with the dull horror of her descriptions of the exploitation visited on the native population by the occupying Europeans. Their attitude is summarised in one brief statement: "A white person may look at a native, who is no better than a dog." ...more
Lessing was born to British parents in Iran before moving to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where she spent her childhood on a farm likely similar to the one she depicts in her book. Later on in life, Lessing became a fierce activist against apartheid which led to her being banned from South Afric ...more
This novel is a little different f ...more
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|Around the Year i...: The Grass is Singing, by Doris Lessing||1||13||Apr 16, 2017 07:58AM|
|A near classic||1||9||Jun 06, 2016 11:23PM|
|Guardian Newspape...: The Grass is Singing||2||21||Apr 01, 2015 04:03PM|
|What type of relationship between Moses and Mary?||8||99||Sep 13, 2014 10:57AM|