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Mara and Dann

Lessing, Doris

1,370 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060182946 / ISBN 13: 9780060182946
Published by HarperFlamingo, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Daniel Montemarano (Newfield, NJ, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since November 23, 2001

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About this Item

1st US Edition/1st Printing (complete number line on copyright page). SIGNED by Ms. Lessing on a bookplate affixed to front end page (signature only). $25.00 price present on DJ flap. r/m on bottom. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 015425

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mara and Dann

Publisher: HarperFlamingo, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine+

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

One of the most venerated of contemporary writers imagines a distant future plagued by drought, where a seven-year-old girl, accompanied by her brother, encounters a variety of strange peoples in her insatiable thirst for self-knowledge. 30,000 first printing.

Review:

Question: What do Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear and Doris Lessing's Mara and Dann have in common? Answer: an ice age. Not the same ice age, of course--Auel's series of prehistoric adventures took place 35,000 years ago, during the last global freeze; Lessing's tale, on the other hand, is set several thousand years in the future, during the next one. Nevertheless, both books are concerned with profound shifts in the development of humankind. In Lessing's imagined world, the Northern Hemisphere is completely covered with ice and humanity has retreated south. In a land called Ifrik, young Mara and her even younger brother, Dann, are kidnapped one night from their family home and taken to live among strangers: "The scene that the child, then the girl, then the young woman tried so hard to remember was clear enough in its beginnings. She had been hustled--sometimes carried, sometimes pulled along by the hand--through a dark night, nothing to be seen but stars, and then she was pushed into a room and told, Keep quiet." We soon learn that the children have been stolen for their own good, though it will be some time before we discover why. Growing up in a drought-parched land, Mara and Dann learn at an early age how to survive both the hostile environment and enemy peoples.

Eventually, conditions grow so bad in Ifrik that an entire continent of people begin a great northern migration. As Mara and Dann walk the length of the land, Lessing takes the opportunity to comment on the lost cities and vanished civilizations whose remains dot the landscape. That these ancient ruins belong to our civilization makes Mara's curiosity about them resonate eerily. Danger dogs every step; the children are captured by different, warring groups and their destinies take very different paths. A political novelist first and foremost, Lessing uses her futuristic fable to comment on the sins and foibles of humanity as it is now--on war and slavery, sexism and racism--and on its one saving grace, the ability to love. --Margaret Prior

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I am not a professional bookseller. I am disposing my personal library of signed first editions and autographs, collected as a hobby over the past 55 years.

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