Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography--1949-1962

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9780060182953: Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography--1949-1962

Doris Lessing joined the Communist Party in London, and here she explores the allure Communism held for artists, intellectuals, and social reformist idealists in the '50s. A fascinating meditation on the psychological, sociological and historical roots of a generation's behavior, Lessing offers insight into the ideological and political madness of the post-war era.

Lessing also evokes the bohemian life she led in post-war London: her work in the theater, her romantic liaisons, her books, her single parenting and the tenor and texture of life in the '50s. Among those who appear in these pages are Clancy Sigal, Nelson Algren, Henry Kissinger, Kenneth Tynan and Bertrand Russell, to name a few. She muses at length about the relationships between men and women, offering provocative insights into the attitudes of American men toward sex, women and love.

The last section of the memoir describes the writing of her most famous novel, The Golden Notebook. It offers a fascinating account of the creative process by which a literary masterpiece is conceived and executed.

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Review:

More casually written and organized than Under My Skin, the second volume of Doris Lessing's autobiography boasts the same acute, brutally frank insights. She begins with her 1949 arrival in London as a 30-year-old single mother from Rhodesia who is searching for a place and a means to write freely; Lessing closes in 1962 with the publication of her most famous novel, The Golden Notebook. In between, she covers love affairs, years of psychotherapy, and her increasingly disenchanted involvement with the Communist Party. Walking in the Shade is essential reading for anyone interested in mid-century British culture.

About the Author:

Winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing was one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of our time, the recipient of a host of international awards. She wrote more than thirty books—among them the novels Martha Quest, The Golden Notebook, and The Fifth Child. She died in 2013.

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