Showing Doris Lessing's writing with the angry compassion of first-hand knowledge to reveal an Africa unknown to most Europeans today, this is an evocation of Africa's sounds and smells, its stark power and savage grandeur and its agony and ultimate tragedy.
Doris Lessing's contemporary gothic horror story—centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human—probes society's unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.
Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside—until the birth of their fifth baby. Gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant-like about him. As he grows older and more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him. Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.
Martha Quest, the embodied heroine of the Children of Violence series, has been acclaimed as one of the greatest fictional creations in the English language. In a Ripple from the Storm, Doris Lessing charts Martha Quest's personal and political adventures in race-torn British Africa, following Martha through World War II, a grotesque second marriage, and an excursion into Communism. This wise and starling novel perceptively reveals the paradoxes, passions, and ironies rooted in the life of twentieth-century Anglo-Africa. A Ripple from the Storm is the third novel in Doris Lessing's classic Children of Violence sequence of novels, each a masterpiece in its own right, and, taken together, an incisive and all-encompassing vision of our world in the twentieth century.
From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, a collection of some of her finest short stories.
For more than four decades, Doris Lessing’s work has observed the passion and confusion of human relations, holding a mirror up to our selves in her unflinching dissection of the everyday.
From the magnificent ‘To Room Nineteen’, a study of a dry, controlled middle-class marriage ‘grounded in intelligence’, to the shocking ‘A Woman on the Roof’, where a workman becomes obsessed with a pretty sunbather, this superb collection of stories written over four decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, bears stunning witness to Doris Lessing’s perspective on the human condition.
Documents Relating to The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire is an sf novel by Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Doris Lessing. It concludes her five-book Canopus in Argos series & comprises a set of documents that describe the final days of the Volyen Empire, located at the edge of our galaxy & under the influence of three other galactic empires, the benevolent Canopus, the tyrannical Sirius & the malicious Shammat of Puttiora.
The Sentimental Agents is a social satire written in the tradition of Jonathan Swift & George Orwell focusing on the debasement of language in political rhetoric. In this fictional universe it's propaganda that keeps fragile empires afloat. When language becomes too distorted, some succumb to a condition called "undulant rhetoric" & are placed in a Hospital for Rhetorical Diseases.
Because of its focus on characterization & social/cultural issues, & no emphasis on technological details, this book is soft sf, or "space fiction" as Lessing calls her Canopus in Argos series. While The Sentimental Agents can be read as a stand-alone book, she does continue with the history of the Sirian Empire, picking up from where she left off in The Sirian Experiments ('80), 3rd book in the series.
As the summer begins, Kate Brown -- attractive, intelligent, forty five, happily enough married, with a house in the London suburbs and three grown children -- has no reason to expect anything will change. But when the summer ends, the woman she was -- living behind a protective camouflage of feminine charm and caring -- no longer exists. This novel. Doris Lessing's brilliant excursion into the terrifying stretch of time between youth and old age, is her journey: from London to Turkey to Spain, from husband to lover to madness: on the road to a frightening new independence and a confrontation with self that lets her, finally, come truly of age.
From the Paperback edition.
Two friends, two sons, two shocking and intense love affairs . . .
Roz and Lil have been best friends since childhood. But their bond stretches beyond familiar bounds when these middle-aged mothers fall in love with each other's teenage sons—taboo-shattering passions that last for years, until the women end them, vowing to have a respectable old age. With Adore, Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, once again proves her unrivaled ability to capture the truth of the human condition.
In this portrait of Doris Lessing's homeland, the author recounts the visits she made to Zimbabwe in 1982, 1988, 1989 and 1992, after being banned from the old Southern Rhodesia for 25 years for her political views and opposition to the minority white Government. The visits constitute a journey to the heart of a country whose history, landscape, people and spirit are evoked by the author in a narrative of detail. She embraces every facet of life in Zimbabwe from the lost animals in the bush to political corruption, from AIDS to a successful communal enterprise created by rural blacks, and notes the kind of changes that can only be appreciated by one who has lived there before.
In Pursuit of the English is a novelist's account of a lusty, quarrelsome, unscrupulous, funny, pathetic, full-blooded life in a working-class rooming house. It is a shrewd and unsentimental picture of Londoners you've probably never met or even read about--though they are the real English. The cast of characters--if that term can be applied to real people--includes: Bobby Brent, a con man; Mrs. Skeffington, a genteel woman who bullies her small child and flings herself down two flights of stairs to avoid having another; and Miss Priest, a prostitute, who replies to Lessing's question "Don't you ever like sex?" with "If you're going to talk dirty, I'm not interested." In swift, barbed style, in high, hard, farcical writing that is eruptively funny, Doris Lessing records the joys and terrors of everyday life. The truth of her perception shines through the pages of a work that is a brilliantpiece of cultural interpretation, an intriguing memoir and a thoroughly engaging read.
From Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, this is the first instalment in the visionary novel cycle ‘Canopus in Argos: Archives’.
The story of the final days of our planet is told through the reports of Johor, an emissary sent from Canopus. Earth, now named Shikasta (the Stricken) by the kindly, paternalistic Canopeans who colonised it many centuries ago, is under the influence of the evil empire of Puttiora. War, famine, disease and environmental disasters ravage the planet. To Johor, mankind is a ‘totally crazed species’, racing towards annihilation: his orders to save humanity set him what seems to be an impossible task.
Blending myth, fable and allegory, Doris Lessing’s astonishing visionary creation both reflects and redefines the history of our own world from its earliest beginnings to an inevitable, tragic self-destruction.
A visionary novel from Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
It is sooner than you might think. And the Earth’s climate is much changed – it’s colder than ever before in the north, and unbearably dry and hot in the south. Mara, who is seven, and her four-year-old brother Dann find themselves somewhere very strange, not home …
They are taken in by a kindly, grandmotherly woman, but this new life is hard: hunger, dirt, thirst and danger are the children’s constant companions. Drought and fire carry off their adoptive home and force them to set off northward into the unknown, to experience a series of adventures that bring them to an altogether altered world, where they can start to learn and build anew.
Doris Lessing has written a compelling, troubling and entertaining novel that, through the remarkable odyssey of a brother and sister living in the imagined future, manages to tell us a great deal about the present we perceive only dimly and scarcely know how to value.
The second volume of Doris Lessing’s Collected African Stories, and a classic work from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
"As for these stories – when I write one, it is as if I open a gate into a landscape which is always there. Time has nothing to do with it. A certain kind of pulse starts beating, and I recognise it: it is time I wrote another story from that landscape, external and internal at the same time, which was once the Old Chief’s Country." — Doris Lessing, from the Preface.
This much-acclaimed collection of stories vividly evokes both the grandeur of Africa and the glare of its sun and the wide open space, as well as the great, irresolvable tensions between whites and blacks. Tales of poor white farmers and their lonely wives, of storm air thick with locusts, of ants and pomegranate trees, black servants and the year of hunger in a native village – all combine to present a powerful image of a continent which seems incorruptible in spite of all the people who plough, mine and plunder it to make their living. In Doris Lessing’s own words, "Africa gives you the knowledge that man is a small creature, among other creatures, in a large landscape."
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 poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic and virile black servant, Moses. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses -- master and slave -- are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion. Their psychic tension explodes in an electrifying scene that ends this disturbing tale of racial strife in colonial South Africa.
The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.
Love, Again tells the story of a 65-year-old woman who falls in love and struggles to maintain her sanity. Widowed for many years, with grown children, Sarah is a writer who works in the theater in London. During the production of a play, she falls in love with a seductive young actor, the beautiful and androgynous 28-year-old Bill, and then with the more mature 35-year-old director Henry. Finding herself in a state of longing and desire that she had thought was the province of younger women, Sarah is compelled to explore and examine her own personal history of love, from her earliest childhood desires to her most recent obsessions. The result is a brilliant anatomy of love from a master of human psychology who remains one of the most daring writers of fiction at work today.
Dann is grown up now, hunting for knowledge and despondent over the inadequacies of his civilization. With his trusted companions—Mara's daughter, his hope for the future; the abandoned child-soldier Griot, who discovers the meaning of love and the ability to sing stories; and the snow dog, a faithful friend who brings him back from the depths of despair—Dann embarks on a strange and captivating adventure in a suddenly colder, more watery climate in the north.