Lessing Doris 1919 - 2013 (94)

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


The Golden

Doris Lessing (1919-2013) was a British author, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. She was born on October 22, 1919 in Kermanshah, Persia. Her father, who had lost a leg in World War I, was an employee of the Imperial Bank of Persia and her mother a nurse. In 1925, the family moved to Rhodesia to enrich themselves by growing corn. Her mother had taken with her many books that Doris had read over and over again. She entered a boarding school in a religious school, which she left at the age of 14 to work first as a nanny and then as a telephone operator. At the age of 20, she married someone who was provoked by her parents. She had 2 children and then she divorced. Later she joined the Communist Party and married someone from the party. She gave birth to a son and divorced again. At 30 she took her youngest son and returned to Great Britain. The following year (1950) she published her first novel, The Grass Sings, which deals with interracial relations in southern Rhodesia. The book was a great success.

Dozens more novels followed; the best "The Golden Notebook", was published in 1962. It is the story of a successful author who keeps a diary in four different notebooks: In the black notebook she records her writing life, in red her political views, in yellow her emotional life and in blue her daily events. In a fifth, "the golden notebook", she attempts to reconstruct her life. Her other important works were the pentology "Children of Violence", "The Fifth Child", the collection of short stories "Five". Shee was also distinguished for the essays she wrote. Lessing believed that the British establishment had never forgiven her for being a critic of colonialism, a militant feminist and a member of the Communist Party (from 1950 to 1956 when she left denouncing the intervention in Hungary). She died on November 17, 2013 at her home in London at the age of 94, having suffered several health problems in the last 2 decades due to strokes.