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Doris Lessing Bibliography Example

The Grass is Singing (1950)

Lessing arrived in London in the spring of 1949 with £20 and the manuscript of a novel drawing heavily on her life in Africa, exploring the power and fear at the heart of the colonial experience. When Mary Turner's husband becomes sick she takes over the running of their failing Rhodesian farm. Gradually she begins to develop a relationship with one of their black servants, Moses – a relationship the reader knows will end in tragedy from the first page.

The Golden Notebook (1962)

This account of the fractured lives of British women after the war has been hailed as a feminist masterpiece. Framed by a third-person story of a writer, Anna Wulf, and her friend Molly, the novel weaves together four of Anna's notebooks which mirror the different strands of her life – Africa, the Communist Party, a doomed love affair and her journal – to arrive at a fifth , The Golden Notebook, which binds them all together. The Swedish Academy called it one of a "handful of books that informed the 20th-century view of the male-female relationship". Lessing herself, typically, was less enamoured with the book's reception, complaining that it had become an "albatross" after critics focused almost exclusively on the feminist aspects of the novel, failing to engage with the novel's scope and structure.

Shikasta (1979)

The first in her five-volume series of SF novels, Canopus in Argus, Shikasta is the story of a fallen paradise, a planet cut adrift from the influence of the advanced civilisation that has brought peace, prosperity and accelerated development. Johor travels to Rohonda and finds it with too little "Spirit of We Feeling", a world which has turned to greed, war and destruction. Despite critical dismay at her new direction, Lessing was unabashed, suggesting that "science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time", and confessing an admiration for the "classic sort of science fiction".

The Good Terrorist (1985)

After two short novels under the pseudonym Jane Somers, Lessing returned to publishing under her own name with this story of a well-intentioned revolutionary, Alice, who lives in a north London squat with a motley bunch of fellow militants. Caring, passionate, tireless, Alice finds herself gradually drawn into violence as the bourgeois revolutionaries' naive fantasies turn into the chaos of real murder.

Alfred and Emily (2008)

Combining fiction and non-fiction, this exploration of her parents' lives begins with a 137-page novella, a golden-hued re-imagining of what might have happened if her parents had never married. The second half returns to reality: Alfred loses a leg in the trenches, meets Emily in the Royal Free Hospital and then leaves for Persia and Rhodesia. Would Emily have been happier if she could have become a matron, if she could have re-connected with her love of literature? Would her daughter have pursued a writing career of her own with such energy if her mother had found fulfilment?

Our readers say:

arrivederci: Nobody has yet mentioned her wonderful two-volume autobiography Under My Skin and Walking in the Shade … she was a great writer.

asterixhannah: The Grass is Singing was the first book which spoke so directly to my experience and life in Harare (though that was some decades later than when the book is situated).

infinitemoralhazard: Loved The Fifth Child, sort of put an end to the nature vs nurture debate, or does it?

Are these the best books? Let us know what you think below

Doris Lessing - Bibliography

Works in English
The Grass is Singing. – London : M. Joseph, 1950 ; New York : Crowell, 1950
This was the Old Chief's Country. – London : M. Joseph, 1951 ; New York : Crowell, 1952
Martha Quest. – London : M. Joseph, 1952. – (Children of Violence; 1)
Five : Short Novels. – London : M. Joseph, 1953
A Proper Marriage. – London : M. Joseph, 1954. – (Children of Violence; 2)
A Retreat to Innocence. – London : M. Joseph, 1956 ; New York : Prometheus, 1959
The Habit of Loving. – London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1957 ; New York : Crowell, 1958
Going Home. – London : M. Joseph, 1957 ; New York : Ballantine, 1968
A Ripple from the Storm. – London : M. Joseph, 1958 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1966. – (Children of Violence; 3)
Fourteen Poems. – Northwood : Scorpion Press, 1959
In Pursuit of the English : a Documentary. – London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1960 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1961
Play with a Tiger : a Play in Three Acts. – London : M. Joseph, 1962
The Golden Notebook. – London : M. Joseph, 1962 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1962
A Man and Two Women. – London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1963 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1963
Martha Quest and A Proper Marriage. – New York : Simon & Schuster, 1964
African Stories. – London : M. Joseph, 1964 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1965
Landlocked. – London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1965 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1966. – (Children of Violence; 4)
A Ripple from the Storm and Landlocked. – New York : Simon & Schuster, 1966
The Black Madonna. – London : Panther, 1966
Winter in July. – London : Panther, 1966
Particularly Cats. – London : M. Joseph, 1967 ; New York : Simon & Schuster, 1967
The Four-Gated City. – London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1969 ; New York : Knopf, 1969. –
(Children of Violence; 5)
Briefing for a Descent into Hell. – London : Cape, 1971 ; New York : Knopf, 1971
The Story of a Non-Marrying Man and Other Stories. – London : Cape, 1972. – Republ. as The Temptation of Jack Orkney and Other Stories. – New York : Knopf, 1972
Collected African stories. Vol. 1, This was the Old Chief's Country. – London : M. Joseph, 1973
Collected African stories. Vol. 2, The Sun Between Their Feet. – London : M. Joseph, 1973
The Summer Before the Dark. – London : Cape, 1973 ; New York : Knopf, 1973
The Memoirs of a Survivor. – London : Octagon, 1974 ; New York : Knopf, 1975
Stories. – New York : Knopf, 1978
To Room Nineteen : Collected Stories Volume One. – London : Cape, 1978
The Temptation of Jack Orkney : Collected Stories Volume Two. – London : Cape, 1978
Shikasta : Re: Colonised Planet 5. – London : Cape, 1979 ; New York : Knopf, 1979. – (Canopus in Argos: Archives; 1)
The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five. – London : Cape, 1980 ; New York : Knopf, 1980. – (Canopus in Argos: Archives; 2)
The Sirian Experiments. – London : Cape, 1981 ; New York : Knopf, 1981. – (Canopus in Argos: Archives; 3)
The Making of the Representative for Planet 8. – London : Cape, 1982 ; New York : Knopf, 1982. – (Canopus in Argos: Archives; 4)
Documents Relating to the Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire. – London : Cape, 1983 ; New York : Knopf, 1983. – (Canopus in Argos: Archives; 5)
The Diary of a Good Neighbour. – London : M. Joseph, 1983 ; New York : Knopf, 1983
If the Old Could ... – London: M. Joseph, 1984 ; New York : Knopf, 1984
The Diaries of Jane Somers. – London : M. Joseph, 1984 ; New York : Knopf, 1984
The Good Terrorist. – London : Cape, 1985 ; New York : Knopf, 1985
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside. – London : Cape, 1987 ; New York : Harper & Row, 1987
The Wind Blows Away Our Words. – London : Picador, 1987 ; New York : Vintage, 1987
The Fifth Child. – London : Cape, 1988 ; New York : Knopf, 1988
The Real Thing : Stories and Sketches. – Republ. as London Observed : Stories and Sketches. – London : HarperCollins, 1992
African Laughter : Four Visits to Zimbabwe. – London & New York : HarperCollins, 1992
Shadows on the Wall of the Cave : a talk by Doris Lessing delivered 19 January 1994. – London : The British Library, 1994
Conversations / edited by Earl G. Ingersol. – Princeton, N.J. : Ontario Review Press, 1994
A Small Personal Voice : Essays, Reviews, Interviews / Edited by Paul Schlueter. – London : Flamingo (HarperCollins), 1994
Under My Skin : Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949. – London & New York : HarperCollins, 1994
Spies I Have Known and Other Stories. – Glasgow : Collins Educational, 1995
Playing the Game. – London : HarperCollins, 1995
Love, Again. – London : Flamingo, 1996 ; New York : HarperCollins, 1996
Play with a Tiger, and Other Plays. – London : Flamingo, 1996
Walking in the Shade : Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949-1962. – London & New York : HarperCollins, 1997
Mara and Dann : an Adventure. – London & New York : HarperCollins, 1999
Ben, in the World. – London & New York : HarperCollins, 2000
The Sweetest Dream. – London : Flamingo (HarperCollins), 2001 ; New York : HarperCollins, 2002
On Cats. – London : Flamingo (HarperCollins), 2002
The Grandmothers : Four Short Novels. – London : Flamingo (HarperCollins), 2003 ; New York : HarperCollins, 2004
Time Bites : Views and Reviews. – London : Fourth Estate, 2004 ; New York : HarperCollins, 2004
The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog. – London : Fourth Estate (HarperCollins), 2005 ; New York : HarperCollins, 2006
The Cleft. – London : Fourth Estate (HarperCollins), 2007 ; New York : HarperCollins, 2007
Alfred & Emily. – London : Fourth Estate, 2008
 
Critical studies
Brewster, Dorothy, Doris Lessing. – New York : Twayne, 1965
Schlueter, Paul, The Novels of Doris Lessing. – Carbondale : Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1973
Doris Lessing : Critical Studies / ed. by Annis Pratt and L.S. Dembo. – Madison : Wisconsin Press, 1974
Thorpe, Michael, Doris Lessing's Africa. – London : Evans, 1978
Rubenstein, Roberta, The Novelistic Vision of Doris Lessing: Breaking the Forms of Consciousness. – Urbana, Ill. : Univ. of Illinois Press, 1979
Holmquist, Ingrid, From Society to Nature : a Study of Doris Lessing's Children of Violence. – Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1980
Notebooks/Memoirs/Archives : Reading and Rereading Doris Lessing / ed. by Jenny Taylor. – Boston, Mass. : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982
Doris Lessing / edited by Eve Bertelsen. – Johannesburg : McGraw-Hill, cop. 1985
Fishburn, Katherine, The Unexpected Universe of Doris Lessing : a Study in Narrative Technique. – Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1985
Doris Lessing / edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom. – New York : Chelsea House, 1986
Doris Lessing : the Alchemy of Survival / edited by Carey Kaplan and Ellen Cronan Rose. – Athens, Ohio : Ohio Univ. Press, cop. 1988
Greene, Gayle, Doris Lessing : the Poetics of Change. – Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, cop. 1994
Rowe, Margaret Moan, Doris Lessing. – London : Macmillan, 1994
Galin, Müge, Between East and West : Sufism in the Novels of Doris Lessing. – Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press, 1997
Putting the Questions Differently : Interviews with Doris Lessing 1964-1994 / Edited by Earl G. Ingersoll. – London : Flamingo, 1996
Klein, Carole, Doris Lessing : a Biography. – London : Duckworth, 2000
Lessing, Doris, Doris Lessing : Conversations / edited by Earl G. Ingersoll. – Princeton, N.J. : Ontario Review Press, 2000
Bücher, Britta, A Wordless Statement : die Rolle der Darstellung in Doris Lessings Space-fiction. – Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang, 2002
 

 

The Swedish Academy, 2008

To cite this page
MLA style: "Doris Lessing - Bibliography". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 13 Mar 2018. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2007/lessing-bibl.html>

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