We were deeply saddened yesterday to learn that Doris Lessing had passed away.
Lessing was one of the great writers of the 20th Century. Her books can often be painful to read in their searingly honest portrayal of human emotions. Even though she was often frustrated at being called a ‘feminist’ writer, she wrote truly about women’s lives.
The Golden Notebook, The Grass is Singing, The Good Terrorist, The Martha Quest novels and of course her sci-fi Canopus in Argus series are all must-reads. But we must not forget her memoirs too. Under My Skin is fantastic in its knowingly self-conscious comments on the process of memoir writing. And it is painful, and funny, in its honesty about human relationships.
But we’ll leave the last word to the great woman herself:
“What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.”
The next Bristol Women’s Literature Festival event is on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. You can book your tickets now.