Sunday, November 17, 2013


Doris Lessing
( b. October 22, 1919, Kermanshah, Iran ~ November 17, 2013, London )

Doris Lessing spoke with reporters from her front porch in London after she won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature.
photo : Shaun Curry/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

"Her themes have been universal and international. They ranged from the problems of post-colonial Africa to the politics of nuclear power, the emergence of a new woman's voice and the spiritual dimensions of 20th-century civilisation. Few writers have as broad a range of subject and sympathy.

She is one of those rare writers whose work crosses frontiers, and her impressively large output constitutes a chronicle of our time. She has enlarged the territory both of the novel and of our consciousness."

~ Michael Holroyd
Lessing's biographer and executor


    The Grass is Singing (1950) (filmed as Killing Heat (1981))
    Retreat to Innocence (1956)
    The Golden Notebook (1962)
    Briefing for a Descent into Hell (1971)
    The Summer Before the Dark (1973)
    Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
    The Diary of a Good Neighbour (as Jane Somers, 1983)
    If the Old Could... (as Jane Somers, 1984)
    The Good Terrorist (1985)
    The Fifth Child (1988)
    Love, Again (1996)
    Mara and Dann (1999)
    Ben, in the World (2000) – sequel to The Fifth Child
    The Sweetest Dream (2001)
    The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog (2005) –     sequel to Mara and Dann
    The Cleft (2007)
    Alfred and Emily (2008)

The Children of Violence series

    Martha Quest (1952)
    A Proper Marriage (1954)
    A Ripple from the Storm (1958)
    Landlocked (1965)
    The Four-Gated City (1969)

The Canopus in Argos: Archives series

    Shikasta (1979)
    The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (1980)
    The Sirian Experiments (1980)
    The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (1982)
    The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire (1983)

Opera libretti

    The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (music by Philip Glass, 1986)
    The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (music by Philip Glass, 1997)


    Playing the Game (graphic novel illustrated by Charlie Adlard, 1995)


    Each His Own Wilderness (three plays, 1959)
    Play with a Tiger (1962)


    Fourteen Poems (1959)
    The Wolf People – INPOPA Anthology 2002 (poems by Lessing, Robert Twigger and T.H. Benson, 2002)

Short story collections

    Five Short Novels (1953)
    The Habit of Loving (1957)
    A Man and Two Women (1963)
    African Stories (1964)
    Winter in July (1966)
    The Black Madonna (1966)
    The Story of a Non-Marrying Man (1972)
    This Was the Old Chief's Country: Collected African Stories, Vol. 1 (1973)
    The Sun Between Their Feet: Collected African Stories, Vol. 2 (1973)
    To Room Nineteen: Collected Stories, Vol. 1 (1978)
    The Temptation of Jack Orkney: Collected Stories, Vol. 2 (1978)
    Through the Tunnel (1990)
    London Observed: Stories and Sketches (1992)
    The Real Thing: Stories and Sketches (1992)
    Spies I Have Known (1995)
    The Pit (1996)
    The Grandmothers: Four Short Novels (2003) (filmed as Two Mothers)

Cat Tales

    Particularly Cats (stories and nonfiction, 1967)
    Particularly Cats and Rufus the Survivor (stories and nonfiction, 1993)
    The Old Age of El Magnifico (stories and nonfiction, 2000)
    On Cats (2002) – omnibus edition containing the above three books

Autobiography and memoirs

    Going Home (memoir, 1957)
    African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe (memoir, 1992)
    Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949 (1994)
    Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949 to 1962 (1997)

Other non-fiction

    In Pursuit of the English (1960)
    Prisons We Choose to Live Inside (essays, 1987)
    The Wind Blows Away Our Words (1987)
    A Small Personal Voice (essays, 1994)
    Conversations (interviews, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll, 1994)
    Putting the Questions Differently (interviews, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll, 1996)
    Time Bites (essays, 2004)
    On Not Winning the Nobel Prize (Nobel Lecture, 2007, published 2008)

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The Great Bay
chronicles of the collapse
Dale Pendell
North Atlantic Books 2010