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Lessing, Doris, 1919-2013

Summary Article: Lessing, Doris from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Lessing, Doris, 1919-, British novelist, b. Kermanshah, Persia (now Iran) as Doris May Tayler. Largely self-educated, she was brought up on a farm in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and in 1949 went to England, where her first novel, The Grass Is Singing (1950), was published. Widely regarded as one of the major writers of the mid-20th cent. and an influential figure among feminists, Lessing writes on a wide variety of themes including Rhodesia, women, communism, and global catastrophe. Distinguished for its energy and intelligence, her work is principally concerned with the lives of women—their psychology, sexuality, politics, work, relationship to men and to their children, and their change of vision as they age. In her later books she has mainly focused on efforts by individuals to resist society's pressures toward marginalization and acculturation. Throughout Lessing's work run currents of realism and fantasy, each of which...    Continue Reading
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