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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  231 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
This major collection contains all of Doris Lessing’s short fiction, other than the stories set in Africa, from the beginning of her career until now. Set in London, Paris, the south of France, the English countryside, these thirty-five stories reflect the themes that have always characterized Lessing’s work: the bedrock realities of marriage and other relationships betwee ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published March 12th 1980 by Vintage (first published 1978)
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Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book, a large and almost unending collection of her short fiction, is probably the best introduction to the enormous ouevre of Doris Lessing, an incredibly sophisticated and intellectual writer. In it are all her trademarks; a perception of the highs and lows of relationships in rare acuity, private thoughts of joy and sorrow, the awkward social transitions between the classes, the mysteries of attraction. Some stories are deep character studies, some heralds of a bleak future, some mundane ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
I'm still reading Doris Lessing's "Stories" at random since I simply can't stand reading from "The Habit of Loving" (first story) till the end ("The Temptation of Jack Orkney") and I don't know why. I think it's not her fault, it's mine, in other words, we need to respect her as the 2007 Nobel Prize awardee for Literature, therefore, her literary stature is awfully formidable till we simply can't think/say anything that tarnishes her literary production.

Today (December 25) I've just finished rea
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, nobel
Some of the stories were really good (I really liked for instance The Other Woman), but some were kinda boring. I would give 5 stars to the good ones and 1 to the bad ones and that would make this book a 3 stars book.
Linda DiMeo Lowman
I savored every single short story in this collection. I've never read anything by Doris Lessing and now I can't wait to read every single thing she wrote. This collection of short stories will remain on my bookshelf and be re-read. If you are a writer, she is a must read. I have no idea why I've never read her or had another writer rave to me about her work. What an amazing writer!

From her Wikipedia page:
Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish
Kathi Matich
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The short story "Old Woman and Her Cat" included in this volume is one of the most heart wrenching, poignant and unforgettable stories I have ever read. The story reads like something Steinbeck would have written. If you like Steinbeck, give Lessing a try.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Of course I'm not going to be faithful of you, no one can be faithful to one other person for a whole lifetime."

For me this collection was my introduction to Lessing, having no prior knowledge of her life or works beforehand other than her holding a formidable position in modern British literature. This book holds a collection of forty-something stories of varying length. Themes returned to frequently are marriage (and its inevitable demise), inescapable infidelity, the deterioration of love an
Alejandro Teruel
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ficción, e-libros
I found this collection of short stories by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing far too long to read straight through as an introduction to her work and would strongly urge some well-meaning and sympathetic editor to provide a shorter selection of her best stories.

On the one hand, many of the stories are, though well written, quite unremarkable; on the other hand there are stories which stand out and are well worth reading closely. I will confine my remarks only to the stories which struck me as we
Troy Farlow
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spot read some of her better known stories, but far from all of them in this edition. I wanted to give it a three but gave it a four out of respect and her talent.

Her issues that she addresses - very erudite and important and ahead of her time - what a treasure she is.

But her prose, I found lacking. And finally, her stories had a point - but it got to the point where they weren’t worth what she made you go through to get to them. Meaning longggg short stories - more like short novellas - and
Tom Leland
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
No super captivating stories. But many with such profoundly perfect descriptions of human foibles and fantasies and inner lives. What a mind.
Laura M
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Lucy
The Witness - Which came first, ostracism or ostracizing behavior? Delusion. Should Brooke be pitied because he has been ostracized, or have his actions made it necessary for all those who know him to ostracize him? Is the weakness in certain peoples' souls more visible than in others?

Eye of God in Paradise - All over the blood-soaked soil of patient Europe, small figures built bright new houses among the ruins of war and waited for the feet of the jackbooted giants to stride
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
HOW can we criticize this renowned writer????
This collection begins with an excellent introduction by Margaret Drabble and a chronology of Lessing's life (1919 -2008 when this book was published)which charts her life's events/writings with corresponding writing of the day and historical events, both of which had huge impact on her work.
I did not complete this book (far from it). It contains 35 stories and is 655 pages long. Our dear public library insists that I return it. I shall borrow it aga
Alia Makki
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So many beautiful stories about the miumius of domesticity. Beautiful because they ring true-true. True enough for me. True enough for you. Not because they're happyending stories, because true things rarely have flat emotional dimensions. True things undulate and curve and redefine the world, both within and out. And these stories, even when they stretch the logic, still bear that truth in them.
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
i haven't finished this, but am putting it aside for now. i really love doris lessings books set in africa. for some reason these short stories haven't grabbed me as much - perhaps it's the rainy english setting reminding me too much of portland right now.
Dr. M
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The connecting link of all stories is the woman's point of view. Dealing with a variety of situations and problems the stories is beautiful. I liked all of them, long and short. This was quite a different experience from the one I expressed on her novel "The Golden Notebbok"
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich mochte nicht alle Erzählungen in dem Buch, aber ich war auch nicht ganz so konzentriert bei der Sache beim Lesen, aber "Die Schmuckschatulle" war tatsächlich ein echtes Schmuckstück. Ich mag Doris Lessings Sicht auf die Menschen. Die Charaktere sind ganz liebevoll in Wort dargestellt.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cracking book to dip into and enjoy. A real storyteller, and a master of the art.
Debra Hale-Shelton
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read several of these wonderfully written stories already and have more to read. To read more of what I think about the book so far, please visit
Apr 28, 2011 added it
Have only read a few stories so far, but the writing is very good.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover photo says it all.
A tough, clever woman; pulling no punches, taking no prisoners.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Favorites: To Room Nineteen, Not a Nice Story, The Witness.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2012
siehe: London Stories. Da es sich hier auch um Kurzgeschichten handelt, bin ich mal faul, was die Rezi angeht ;)
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
All stories in here range from good to brilliant, with the latter represented by "The Day Stalin Died," "Report on the Threatened City," and "The Temptation of Jack Orkney," among others.
Nov 17, 2013 marked it as to-read
Patricia Mcbride
Classic. Beautiful. Haunting. Literature for our time.
Kristina Murphy
My first venture into the mind of Ms. Lessing was an interesting one. I will definitely be back to discover more.
Kay Owen
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Dec 16, 2012
Joy Lo-Bamijoko
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Aug 30, 2015
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Feb 18, 2010
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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 Oliv ...more
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“If one person has loved another truly and wholly, then it is more than love that collapses when one side of the indissoluble partnership turns away with a tearful goodbye.” 1 likes
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