Doris Lessing's Biography

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  • Topic: Nobel Prize, Zimbabwe, Nobel Prize in Literature
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  • Published : October 2, 2010
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LESSING’S BIOGRAPHY

Doris Lessing, a British writer, was born in 1919 and awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2007. Her father, who had lost a leg during his service in World War I, moved his family to Persia (now Iran), in order to take up a job as a clerk. Doris was born there. The family then moved to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to farm. Her mother, obsessed with raising a proper daughter, enforced a rigid system of rules and hygiene at home, then she sent her to a Roman Catholic convent all-girls school where nuns terrified the girls with stories of hell and damnation. She left school at 13, and thereafter, was self-educated; and worked as a nursemaid; and it was about this time that she started reading material about politics and sociology that her employer gave her to read. She began writing about that time. In 1937 she got married, had two children and then divorced. This is when she was drawn to Communist Left Book Club. The group read all kinds of books. She met her second husband, had a child and her marriage also ended up in a divorce. Soon, she was disillusioned with the Communist movement and because of her commitment in the campaign against nuclear arms and South African apartheid, she was banned from the country and from Rhodesia for many years. Therefore, she moved to London with her youngest son, in 1949, and it was then that she published her first novel, The Grass is Singing. The book which made her really famous was The Golden Notebook, published in 1962. it was considered by many, to be a feminist masterpiece as it informs about the 20th century view of the male-female relationship. Doris spent most of her adult life in London, with frequent visits to the U.S. for readings and book tours. She is considered as a social activist, communist and a mystic (all of these are to influence her writing). In 1984, she attempted to publish two novels under a pseudonym, Jane Somers, to demonstrate the difficulty new...
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