Today marks the appearance of an exciting new collection of essays on Doris Lessing: Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, published by Edinburgh University Press. The volume, which had its genesis at the successful 2014 Doris Lessing conference in Plymouth, England, was edited by Kevin Brazil, David Sergeant, and Tom Sperlinger, and it features contributions from several Society members. The collection offers the first comprehensive, retrospective view of Lessing’s writings across her career, focusing specially on the innovations in literary form she made in response to the historical changes she lived to witness. This book will be a pivotal reference for Lessing scholars over the coming decade. More information at the publisher’s web site, here.
The breadth and freshness of these essays, introduced by the co-editors’ fine overview of Doris Lessing’s expressions of historical change through literary forms, reinforces the author’s undiminished appeal to contemporary scholars and readers. Exploring formal elements of Lessing’s work—characterization, humour, readership, and film and dream analogues—along with politics and history, human evolution, climate change, and time travel, these essays are timely, ambitious, and intellectually engaging.
– Roberta Rubenstein, American University
There’s a new page on the site, under the Resources tab: a short but substantial biography of Doris Lessing, written by Society member Linda E. Chown. This biographical essay focuses on the phases of the author’s life from her birth in 1919 to the early 1980s. Chown’s text is not just factual, but also richly sourced with extensive quotations from published Lessing interviews, some of them now rare. Therefore it should be a valuable resource to students and scholars as a serious introductory biography. For insight into the later years, we are all now awaiting the publication of the authorized biography, now being written!