The formidably productive Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize winner, has set her mark on late twentieth-century fiction and remains a force to be reckoned with in the twenty-first. Her major themes—life in colonial Africa, the problems confronting women (political, sexual, spiritual), human experience depicted through recourse to imaginary, extraterrestrial cultures—embrace most of the central concerns of her generation. As well as novels, short stories, science fiction, poetry, plays, essays, political analysis, travel books, and autobiography, she has written light-hearted cultural satire and books about cats.
She is an embodiment of paradox: a metropolitan colonial, a reluctant leader of the feminist movement now speaking up for disadvantaged men, a persistent critic of society and of received attitudes, a creator of imaginary societies but too unsparing an observer of human beings to be considered a utopian.
22 October 1919 Doris Tayler (later DL) was born at Kermanshah in Persia (now Iran).
16 April 1962 DL published her best-known novel, The Golden Notebook, which readers at the time took as a kind of feminist manifesto.