The landmark novel by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing - a powerful account of a woman searching for her personal, political and professional identity while facing rejection and betrayal.
Anna Wulf is a young novelist with writer''s block. Divorced, with a young child, and disillusioned by unsatisfactory relationships, she feels her life is falling apart. Fearing the onset of madness, she records her experiences in four coloured notebooks. The black notebook addresses her problems as a writer; the red her political life; the yellow her relationships and emotions; and the blue becomes a diary of everyday events. But it is the fifth notebook - the Golden Notebook - which is the key to her recovery and renaissance.
Bold and illuminating, fusing sex, politics, madness and motherhood, ''The Golden Notebook'' is at once a wry and perceptive portrait of the intellectual and moral climate of the 1950s - a society on the brink of feminism - and a powerful and revealing account of a woman searching for her own personal and political identity.
Doris Lessing, one of England's finest living novelists, invites us to imagine a mythical society free from sexual intrigue, free from jealousy, free from petty rivalries: a society free from men.
The first book after Doris' Nobel Prize takes her back to her childhood in Southern Africa and the lives, both fictional and factual, that her parents lead.'I think my father's rage at the trenches took me over, when I was very young, and has never left me. Do children feel their parents' emotions? Yes, we do, and it is a legacy I could have done without. What is the use of it? It is as if that old war is in my own memory, my own consciousness.'In this extraordinary book, the new Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing explores the lives of her parents, both of them irrevocably damaged by the Great War. Her father wanted the simple life of an English farmer, but shrapnel almost killed him in the trenches, and thereafter he had to wear a wooden leg. Her mother Emily's great love was a doctor, who drowned in the Channel, and she spent the war nursing the wounded in the Royal Free Hospital. In the first half of this book, Doris Lessing imagines the lives her parents might have made for themselves had there been no war at all, a story that has them meeting at a village cricket match outside Colchester as children but leading separate lives. This is followed by a piercing examination of their lives as they actually came to be in the shadow of that war, their move to Rhodesia, a damaged couple squatting over Doris's childhood in a strange land.'Here I still am,' says Doris Lessing, 'trying to get out from under that monstrous legacy, trying to get free.' With the pubication of Alfred and Emily she has done just that.
The classic first novel from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Doris Lessing brought the manuscript of ''The Grass is Singing'' with her when she left Southern Rhodesia and came to England in 1950. When it was first published it created an impact whose reverberations we are still feeling, and immediately established itself as a landmark in twentieth-century literature. Set in Rhodesia, it tells the story of Dick Turner, a failed white farmer and his wife, Mary, a town girl who hates the bush. Trapped by poverty, sapped by the heat of their tiny brick and iron house, Mary, lonely and frightened, turns to Moses, the black cook, for kindness and understanding. A masterpiece of realism, ''The Grass is Singing'' is a superb evocation of Africa''s majestic beauty, an intense psychological portrait of lives in confusion and, most of all, a passionate exploration of the ideology of white supremacy.
A hugely significant political novel for the late twentieth century from one of the outstanding writers of the modern era and winner of the Nobel Prize for Fiction. In a London squat a band of bourgeois revolutionaries are united by a loathing of the waste and cruelty they see around them. These maladjusted malcontents try desperately to become involved in terrorist activities far beyond their level of competence. Only Alice seems capable of organising anything. Motherly, practical and determined, she is also easily exploited by the group and ideal fodder for a more dangerous and potent cause. Eventually their naive radical fantasies turn into a chaos of real destruction, but the aftermath is not as exciting as they had hoped. Nonetheless, while they may not have changed the world, their lives will never be the same again ...