Literary Prizes discussion

Nobel Prize goes to Doris Lessing

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

We didn't see that one coming, did we?

I have to admit, the only book I ever read by her was "The Fifth Child" - an eternity ago.

Any thoughts?

message 2: by Lavina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

Lavina (lavina_l) | 6 comments Wow. I totally forgot about her. Apparently so did all the media people whose predictions I read. I can't remember her name coming up once among all the hypotheticals.

Apparently, at 87, she's the oldest person to receive the prize.

I've never read anything by her.

message 3: by Jango (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

Jango | 11 comments Kudos to Conrad! And I quote: "As for women, I would be unsurprised if Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, or Margaret Atwood won, for some reason, but I would prefer Doris Lessing." Mark also made note of her. And those that wanted a female author, got their day!

So I was certaintly wrong about geographical diversity! Another English author! But if I may reach for saving a little face, I'd like to point out that she was born in Iran and spent a large part of her life in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). I had a feeling the Nobel was looking for someone from Sub-Saharan Africa...

Anyway, geogrpahy probably had nothing to do with it. But I do think the Nobel shied away from controversy this year. Sorry, Nico. Not to say Doris Lessing wasn't controversial in her time, but I think right now she's been deemed a politically safer choice. And I do think Conrad was again correct in saying they wanted to choose someone who might kick the bucket before they had a chance to besotw the award.

So now I need to read some Lessing! Anyone have any recommendations? "The Golden Notebook"? "The Good Terrorist"? I hear she's written some science fiction lately. And dabbled in Sufi mysticism. Sounds interesting.

message 4: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

Kate (kate-schmate) | 7 comments Oh, no, it's the "quick, before it's too late" award now? :)

message 5: by Mark (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Mark Argh!!! I haven't read anything by her and I've never been able to bring myself to do so. Maybe now, but maybe not. I think it's time the prize committee got shaken up; they need new blood or even somebody with blood still flowing to their brains.

message 6: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Conrad | 45 comments Mod
Thanks, Jango! And here I was about ready to toot my own pathetic internet horn.

Anyway, I've never been able to finish a book she's written - and trust me, I tried to get through my yellowed copy of The Golden Notebook - but this is the perfect excuse to read Canopus in Argos.

message 7: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Elizabeth | 1 comments I haven't read any of Lessing's work, either, but I've so enjoyed her interviews.

Conrad, straight from the horse's mouth:

"I can't say I'm overwhelmed with surprise," Lessing said. "I'm 88 years old and they can't give the Nobel to someone who's dead, so I think they were probably thinking they'd probably better give it to me now before I've popped off."


message 8: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Rob McMonigal | 11 comments I'd never read her, either...just put one at semi-random (a book rating nearly 4.0 on here) on my to-read list to see what I think.


message 9: by Terpsicore (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Terpsicore | 1 comments I read her years ago, but mainly her books about Africa. I loved those.
Couldn't bring myself to read the other ones though, but it's mainly prejudice.

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