Welcome to the website for the Doris Lessing Society! Here you can find resources for studying and enjoying the writings of one of the 20th century's great authors, including a bibliography of recent literary criticism, information about past conferences and panel presentations, and reading guides on selected works for book clubs and independent readers. Also listed here are current Society members and their scholarly interests. If you would like to join, or if you have a question, don't hesitate to click "Contact," above. -- Cornelius Collins, President, Doris Lessing Society


Calls for papers, MLA 2017

The Doris Lessing Society has posted its calls for papers for the 2017 MLA Convention in Philadelphia!

The topic of the Society’s guaranteed session is “Teaching Doris Lessing in the Twenty-First Century.” Given the changes in post-secondary education since Lessing’s canonization in the US academy with novels like The Golden Notebook, what do we teach when we teach Doris Lessing now, and how (and to whom) do we teach? Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.

The topic of the special session the Society will propose is “Twentieth-Century Women Writers and the Formalist Turn.” This panel proposes to ask, how will the “formalist turn” in literary studies affect or shape the interpretation of, and new scholarly work on, twentieth-century women writers? Has it already? Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.

new issue of Doris Lessing Studies

The latest issue of the Society’s academic journal, Doris Lessing Studies, has just been published! The 2015 edition is volume 33.

Equally exciting is the fact that with this issue, the journal is moving to online-only publication. The format of the journal as you know it has not changed, but from now on, rather than being mailed to members, it will be hosted in PDF format on this web site for download. That means here is the place to find the latest scholarship on Doris Lessing! To read this and other recent issues in our online archive, become a member, or contact your library and inquire about institutional access.

Here is the table of contents for volume 33:

  • Letter from the President, Cornelius Collins
  • Letter from the Co-Editors, Phyllis Perrakis, Drew Shannon, and Robin Visel
  • “After the ‘Colour Bar’: Doris Lessing’s Analysis of Contemporary Racism in ‘Victoria and the Staveneys,'” Christine Sizemore
  • “Lacking a Story of Her Own: Susan Rawlings and Narrative in Doris Lessing’s ‘To Room Nineteen,'” Kevin Brown
  • “Media and Subjectivity in Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook,” Laurel Harris
  • “Unlived Lives, Unborn Children in Lessing’s Alfred and Emily and D. H. Lawrence’s Chatterley Novels,” Nancy L. Paxton
  • “‘A Hiatus’ in Doris Lessing’s Memory of Her Father: ‘My Father’ and Alfred and Emily,” Sun Hwa Park
  • Review of Literary Half-Lives: Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à Clef by Roberta Rubenstein, Drew Patrick Shannon
  • “Doris Lessing: An Appreciation,” Roberta Rubenstein
  • List of Society Officers

Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook After Fifty

Three Doris Lessing Society members, Alice Ridout, Roberta Rubenstein, and Sandra Singer, have co-edited a book that grew out of the Society’s 2013 MLA Convention panel in Boston marking the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Golden Notebook. The book features the work of many Doris Lessing Society members and has been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook After Fifty


Doris Lessing Society Panels at the MLA Convention


70. Doris Lessing and Canada
Thursday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 223, VCC West
Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society
Presiding: Cornelius Collins, Fordham Univ.
1. “‘The Limits of Autobiography’: Doris Lessing and Margaret Laurence,” Alice Rachel Ridout, Algoma Univ.
2. “On Domestication in Marian Engel and Doris Lessing,” Dorian Stuber, Hendrix Coll.
3. “The Anonymous Wisdom of Lessing’s Writer,” Sookyoung Lee, Univ. of California, Berkeley

605. D. H. Lawrence and Doris Lessing: New Perspectives
Saturday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 116, VCC West
Program arranged by the D. H. Lawrence Society of North America and the Doris Lessing Society
Presiding: Nancy L. Paxton, Northern Arizona Univ.
1. “Insanity, Gender, and War in Doris Lessing’s and D. H. Lawrence’s Fiction,” Jill Franks, Austin Peay State Univ.
2. “‘Unlived Lives, Unborn Children’ in D. H. Lawrence’s Chatterley Novels and Doris Lessing’s Alfred and Emily,” Nancy L. Paxton
3. “Decentering Trauma: The Narrative Aesthetics of D. H. Lawrence and Doris Lessing,” Tonya M. Krouse, Northern Kentucky Univ.


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