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Doris Lessing entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
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Works By
The formidably productive and versatile Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize winner, set her mark on late twentieth-century fiction and remained 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 published light-hearted cultural satire and books about cats.
She was an embodiment of paradox: a metropolitan colonial, a reluctant leader of the feminist movement later 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.
Milestones
22 October 1919 Doris Tayler (later DL) was born at Tehran in Persia (now Iran). Bibliographic Citation link.
16 April 1962 DL published her best-known novel, The Golden Notebook, which readers at the time took as a kind of feminist manifesto. Bibliographic Citation link.
By mid-May 2008 DL's novel about the potential and actual lives of her parents, Alfred and Emily, appeared in print. Bibliographic Citation link.
17 November 2013 DL died at her London home at the age of ninety-four, three weeks after the death of her younger son, Peter, who lived with her. Bibliographic Citation link.
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