Saturday 23 September 2017

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Lessing dies

Doris Lessing outside her London home in October 2007 after she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Doris Lessing outside her London home in October 2007 after she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Danica Kirka

DORIS Lessing, the Nobel Prize-winning, free-thinking, world-travelling and often-polarising author of 'The Golden Notebook' and dozens of other novels that reflected her own improbable journey across the former British empire, died yesterday. She was 94.

Her publisher, HarperCollins, said the author of more than 55 works of fiction, opera, non-fiction and poetry, died peacefully at her home in London.

Her family requested privacy, and the cause of death was not immediately clear. Lessing explored topics ranging from colonial Africa to dystopian Britain, from the mystery of being female to the unknown worlds of science fiction. She won the Nobel Literature prize in 2007. The Swedish Academy praised Lessing for her "scepticism, fire and visionary power".

When told about winning the prize she responded: "Oh Christ! ... I couldn't care less."

That was typical of the irascible, independent Lessing, who never saved her fire for the page.

Targets of her vocal ire in recent years included ex-US president George W Bush and modern women – "smug, self-righteous". She also raised hackles by deeming the 9/11 terrorist attacks "not that terrible".

She is survived by her daughter Jean and granddaughters Anna and Susannah.

Irish Independent

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