Assembled here for the first time in book form are the very best of several decades' worth of occasional writings from perhaps the best-loved and most-admired of Britain's great female writers A selection of the very best of Doris Lessing's essays, never before collected together and published in book form. Articles on writers as diverse as Jane Austen, Muriel Spark, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Mikael Bulgakov sit alongside autobiographical looks at the beliefs that have shaped Lessing's thinking. There are adoring and adorable pieces on the beloved cats that she has allowed to share her life and insightful looks at the Africa in which she grew up and London and England, the place where she made her home. The range of subjects, cultures and periods within these essays is huge but the collection is utterly consistent in one key regard: Doris Lessing's clear-eyed vision and clearly-expressed prose are present throughout. There is a huge amount of wisdom and entertainment in these pages, and fans of Doris' infectiously forthright, zestful and impish spirit will love to own and read this book.
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Doris Lessing is widely recognized as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century.From Publishers Weekly:
Arguably the grande dame of English letters—the list of her published works comes to 60-plus—Lessing has always been outspoken about literature, politics and social issues. The 65 essays and book reviews collected here range over those topics and others, all declaimed in Lessing's brisk, wry voice and articulated with pragmatic intelligence. Her literary reviews always amplify the book at hand; the pieces on Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen resonate with fresh insight. Her enthusiastic reconsiderations of authors who are little read today, including Olive Schreiner, George Meredith, A.E. Coppard and Walter de la Mare, may pique readers' curiosity. Another obscure book, about an American prostitute, comes to light in the fascinating "The Maimie Papers." Six essays discuss the writer Idries Shah and his books about the mysteries and consolations of Sufism, which, Lessing claims, were "like a depth charge" and fulfilled all her philosophical and spiritual needs. Not every reader will be convinced. There's a tirade against Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia was Lessing's homeland) and a coruscating indictment of American complacency before 9/11. The main theme, whether addressed overtly or underlying her literary criticism, is the indispensable place of books in the life of an educated person and an enlightened culture. Hers is a clarion call. (Dec.)
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Book Description (4th) Fourth Estate, London, 2004. HARDCOVER. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 1st printing. Large 8vo in grey faux cloth, gilt lettering to spine. 376pp . . . . . [ CONDITION : An extremely well preserved AS NEW unread copy in an AS NEW Dust Jacket ] . Bookseller Inventory # T76010