Doris Lessing (1919-2013)

Today, November 17, 2013, Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize of Literature 2007, one of the most important writers of the 20th century, has passed away at age 94.

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize of Literature 2007.


Doris Lessing wrote more of 50 novels and during her career she received many important awards including the Nobel Prize of literature.

She was a novelist, playwright, biographer, librettist, poet and short story writer, her novels included “The Golden Notebook”,  “The Good Terrorist”,  The Grass is Singing, the sequence of five novels collectively called Children of Violence and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos: Archives.

Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.  In awarding the Prize the Swedish Academy described her as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”.

Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In 2001, Lessing was awarded the David Cohen Prize  for a lifetime’s achievement in British literature. In 2008, The Times ranked her fifth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize                                                              of Literature in 2007.


The literature lost one of the greatest writers.

List of works by Doris Lessing:

The Grass is Singing (1950) (filmed as Killing Heat (1981))
Retreat to Innocence (1956)
The Golden Notebook (1962)
Briefing for a Descent into Hell (1971)
The Summer Before the Dark (1973)
Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
The Diary of a Good Neighbour (as Jane Somers, 1983)
If the Old Could… (as Jane Somers, 1984)
The Good Terrorist (1985)
The Fifth Child (1988)
Love, Again (1996)
Mara and Dann (1999)
Ben, in the World (2000) – sequel to The Fifth Child
The Sweetest Dream (2001)
The Story of General Dann and Mara’s Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog (2005) – sequel to Mara and Dann
The Cleft (2007)
Alfred and Emily (2008)

Short story collections

Five Short Novels (1953)
The Habit of Loving (1957)
A Man and Two Women (1963)
African Stories (1964)
Winter in July (1966)
The Black Madonna (1966)
The Story of a Non-Marrying Man (1972)
This Was the Old Chief’s Country: Collected African Stories, Vol. 1 (1973)
The Sun Between Their Feet: Collected African Stories, Vol. 2 (1973)
To Room Nineteen: Collected Stories, Vol. 1 (1978)
The Temptation of Jack Orkney: Collected Stories, Vol. 2 (1978)
Through the Tunnel (1990)
London Observed: Stories and Sketches (1992)
The Real Thing: Stories and Sketches (1992)
Spies I Have Known (1995)
The Pit (1996)
The Grandmothers: Four Short Novels (2003) (filmed as Two Mothers)

The Children of Violence series

Martha Quest (1952)
A Proper Marriage (1954)
A Ripple from the Storm (1958)
Landlocked (1965)
The Four-Gated City (1969)

The Canopus in Argos: Archives series

Shikasta (1979)
The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (1980)
The Sirian Experiments (1980)
The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (1982)
The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire (1983)

Cat Tales

Particularly Cats (stories and nonfiction, 1967)
Particularly Cats and Rufus the Survivor (stories and nonfiction, 1993)
The Old Age of El Magnifico (stories and nonfiction, 2000)
On Cats (2002) – omnibus edition containing the above three books

Opera libretti

The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (music by Philip Glass, 1986)
The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (music by Philip Glass, 1997)


Each His Own Wilderness (three plays, 1959)
Play with a Tiger (1962)

Poetry collections

Fourteen Poems (1959)
The Wolf People – INPOPA Anthology 2002 (poems by Lessing, Robert Twigger and T.H. Benson, 2002)

Other non-fiction

In Pursuit of the English (1960)
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside (essays, 1987)
The Wind Blows Away Our Words (1987)
A Small Personal Voice (essays, 1994)
Conversations (interviews, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll, 1994)
Putting the Questions Differently (interviews, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll, 1996)
Time Bites (essays, 2004)
On Not Winning the Nobel Prize (Nobel Lecture, 2007, published 2008)

Autobiography and memoirs

Going Home (memoir, 1957)
African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe (memoir, 1992)
Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949 (1994)
Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949 to 1962 (1997)


Rest in peace, Doris Lessing.



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