Thursday, October 11, 2007

2007 Nobel Prize for Literature

Doris Lessing, my favorite author whose work I did my Masters thesis on (Mara and Dann & African Stories), has won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature! She was praised by the judges for her "skepticism, fire and visionary power." From Associated Press

Lessing, 11 days short of her 88th birthday, is the oldest choice ever for a prize that usually goes to authors in their 50s and 60s. Although she is widely celebrated for "The Golden Notebook" and other works, she has received little attention in recent years and has been criticized as strident and eccentric.

A largely self-taught author who ended formal schooling at age 13, Lessing has drawn heavily from her time living in Africa, exploring the divide between whites and blacks, most notably in 1950's "The Grass Is Singing," which examined the relationship between a white farmer's wife and her black servant. The academy called it "both a tragedy based in love-hatred and study of unbridgeable racial conflicts."

A prolific author even in her 80s, Lessing was born to British parents who were living in what is now Bakhtaran, Iran. Her many works include short stories, essays and such novels as "The Good Terrorist" and "Martha Quest," the latter part of her semi-autobiographical "Children Of Violence" series.

But to millions she is known for "The Golden Notebook," published in 1962 and still a feminist classic although Lessing does not consider the book a political statement.

"The burgeoning feminist movement saw it as a pioneering work and it belongs to the handful of books that inform the 20th century view of the male-female relationship," the academy said in its citation announcing the prize.

Lessing was also cited for her "vision of global catastrophe forcing mankind to return to a more primitive life, noting such recent works as "Mara and Dann" and its sequel, "The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog," published in 2005.

Full article

Doris Lessing Biography

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