Talk:Doris Lessing

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Jane Somers[edit]

Doris Lessing also writes as Jane Somers —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:22, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

memoirs of a survivor movie[edit]

One book was filmed:

The Grass Is Singing was also filmed: --Camptown 13:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Not a communist activist[edit]

Doris Lessing is not a communist activist. That is truly an absurd and ignorant allegation. She was at one time a communist, but it was many years ago and is really no longer relevant except in a historical context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I removed the category of "Communists" for now. If anybody have any objection, please discuss it here. --Pejman47 14:20, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that she shouldn't be categorized as just a British communist. If they had a category for former British communists, that would be kosher, however. María (críticame) 14:23, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I added the category since it fits perfectly with the inclusion criteria at Category:British communists: "This category lists figures who have, at one time or another, been active in British communist politics through either identifying themselves as communists or being members of parties identifying themselves as communist. It should not be taken for granted that inclusion in this category implies that figures remained their whole life or continue to be communists." If you don't like this criteria then you should discuss that at the category's talk page or submit it for WP:CFD, but don't remove articles which fit the stated criteria. /Slarre 14:23, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


whoever thought that putting a longish excursion on the age of nobel prize recipients in the opening paragraph of this needs to have a little rethink regarding priorties. --Snottily 14:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Please do not remove sourced material without discussion. It has widely been reported by numerous sources that Lessing's age is a noteworthy matter; it could be better represented in the article, since the lead is supposed to be a summary of the entire body, but it is not "drivel." María (críticame) 14:07, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
after getting reverted: yeah, it's sourced, that makes it important. sure. of course. go read up on what the opening of an article SHOULD contain. --Snottily 14:08, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
wow, "snottily" is the right name- Llajwa 01:33, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

English Parents of British Nationality[edit]

This addition may seem like slight overkill but here's why I added: I clarified this aspect of her background with specific refs as I saw just now that the New York Times is describing her as a "Persian-born, Rhodesian-raised and London-residing" (free registration may be needed to access article; story could be updated / corrected after i write this) with no mention at all about her British nationality or English parents. The New York Times, it seems, will happily and automatically describe Nobel Prizewinners who have very recently become US citizens after being born abroad and spending decades working while foreign nationals outside the US as "American" without necessarily bothering to mention the previous non-US background. However, when it comes to non-American citizens - apparently the 2 NY Times journalists (one based in London) who collaborated on this important front page story today couldn't even work out whether Lessing had become a British citizen in the 50-60 years she has lived in London (their perspective suggests that even if she had, they would not describe her as British) or if her parents were British (they didnt read the biography summary on her own website? which is like, (when i just tried it just now at least) the No. 1 hit on google after searching for her name?), never mind her English lineage... hence their rather awkward description of her without any mention of Britishness. Anyway, thats why I made the addition.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Speaking Events section?[edit]

As a famous writer of advanced age, Lessing would have spoken about herself and her views at a great many literary conferences, festivals, seminars etc etc etc. What is so special about the couple of events listed in this section? What exactly is the encyclopedic suitability of this sectionl? Are we to have speaking events sections for all famous writers, scientists , politicans etc....?

  • The Bath event is included, I suspect, as a way of introducing her discussion about going deaf, and deafness in her family history. The appearance at the World Science Fiction Convention is there to reflect the fact that, unlike many other literary figures who have dabbled in the field, she cheerfully admits that she is writing science fiction and has no problem with being associated with that pariah genre of literature (unlike, say, Margaret Atwood, who tries to redefine SF so as to exclude her own work). --Orange Mike 14:55, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
    • I think the events section is there really just as free promotion of the conference and festival. It's unseemly. Her deafness and her involvement in scifi could be easily and comprehensively treated in the article without mentioning these conferences/festivals at all. There is nothing which indicates what is so special about Lessing's appearance at them. Wikipedia's tolerance level for promotional misuse is set way too high, and this is another example, I believe, of this kind of damaging misuse. It may well be that these festival/conferences were added in good faith by someone who just wants to wave the flag for their local or favourite event, but this is still inappropriate and detracts from the quality and tone of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
      • I know nothing about the Bath event. As to the other, this speaks to Lessing's acknowledgement of her work as science fiction in the face of the widespread prejudice against the genre (as reflected, for example, in Bloom's little sneer). If you want to incorporate it in the text rather than in the awkward present form, go ahead (heck, I may do it myself); but this was the World Science Fiction Convention, not some little local sherry party; and accepting the role as Guest of Honor constitutes a considerable commitment. --Orange Mike 13:45, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
        • Okay, cleaned it up. Had to remove the Bath/deafness item, as it was uncited. --Orange Mike 13:54, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I found a ref for her going deaf as a result of the antimalarial pills she took as a child [1], but I'm not sure where it would fit now under the circumstances? Perhaps in a short bit about her upbringing in South Rhodesia shaped her politics and writing? I can include info about Children of Violence, and have already included the fact that she was banned for a period of time because of her political nature. Any ideas? María (críticame) 14:17, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like it would fit with discussion of her upbringing/childhood (no OR, of course; but cites from her autobiographical material would be appropriate). --Orange Mike 19:59, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


Surely the bit about her Nobel prize should say something about why she got it. At the moment we only have the criticisms of it. There is more about Bloom than about Lessing! If nothing else, it would be more appropriate to include Lessing's reaction to the news of the award: "Oh Christ!" Bluewave 21:29, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Your point seems to have been fixed in the revision I saw. But I'd quesiton the need to include Bloom's reaction at all really. Lisiate 01:29, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Also, is the criticism of her prize widespread? If it's just a single critic taking issue with her prize, I don't think that single criticism is at all notable. Raddick 13:29, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
      • Harold Bloom is one of the most notable, if not the most notable, American literary critics of today. I'm not saying that I approve of having his opinion dedicated to its entire section, but it does make sense to include it. I've read people's opinions about Lessing winning that amount to "it's about time!" as well, and then there's Lessing's own comments that she couldn't care less about it, as well. I think all of these varied comments, with reliable sources (which of course there are, this is huge news), can be added no problem. María (críticame) 13:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
        • Bloom's comment reveals more about his prejudices and antipathies (remember, all science fiction is crap!) than about Lessing. I do think, though, that a section about her Nobel does not constitute undue emphasis. --Orange Mike 14:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Your points may be true, but nevertheless Wikipedia is supposed to report what reliable sources say, and in this case the Associated Press actually focused heavily on Bloom's criticism in its article announcing the Prize.--Gloriamarie 17:31, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
"focused heavily"? Two sentences does not constitute "focused heavily" in my understanding. --Orange Mike 13:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I saw the AP article in two different newspapers; in each case, the subheadline and more than a full paragraph were devoted to Bloom's criticism. I also felt its inclusion was overdoing it in this article, until I saw the AP's treatment of the situtation in their original article. They really did focus on it.--Gloriamarie 01:27, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


This is a bit complicated. The dear lady actually had quite a bit to say, according to an Associated Press report, which is at:

The Toronto Star report which I quoted when editing the article a few minutes ago used different quotes from Associated Press than did the Iowa State Daily, which another editor cited. All the quotes attributed to Doris Lessing by both papers are in the AP report.

There is mention above that AP focussed heavily on Harold Bloom. The AP report that I found first had no mention of him. Further searching brought out another AP report: This later report quotes Harold Bloom.

I should explain that I only found this discussion AFTER editing the article. Rather than revise it again, I will leave it in the capable hands of other editors. Wanderer57 02:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC) PS I also found this which may interest some of you.

Did this article become so mediocre just now??[edit]

I mean, I understand that she just won the prize and so everyone is talking about it, and so there's lots of edits on the page and they're making it crappy. BUT I don't understand why there isn't a section dedicated to the book she won the Nobel Prize for or her getting Nobel Prize, for that matter! BTW, Bloom is not the only one who thinks she didn't deserve the award. Marcel Reich-Ranicki and Umberto Eco seem share his uh... surprise. Also, didn't she say at the ceremony something like "Oh my god, I couldn't care less"?? I know I heard about it somewhere. I would think that's kind of relevant.--Plavalagunanbanshee 12:54, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

She wasn't at a "ceremony"; the press alerted her of the Prize win after she came home from grocery shopping. But, yes, she did display a certain amount of nonchalance. Also, she did not win the Nobel Prize for any particular work, rather it's for the entire body of her work. María (críticame) 13:35, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Hello Plavalagunanbanshee. Crappy?? Could you please be more specific about what you don't like, and if possible less rude? (Is it unfair to use the word "rude"?) Wanderer57 01:38, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
One example for the article being crappy, especially considering the subject, is its style. For instance, it uses the phrase "and it was [here/then] that ..." four times in the first two sections. (talk) 06:35, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, I was rather shocked at the quality of the grammer and use of language throughout the article. Urgently needs attention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:04, 28 April 2010 UTC


Lessing's literary archive is held by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, at the University of Texas at Austin.The 45 archival boxes of Lessing's materials at the Ransom Center represent nearly all of her extant manuscripts and typescripts through 1999. Original material for Lessing's early books is assumed not to exist because Lessing kept none of her early manuscripts.[2]--Jokolker 18:44, 12 October 2007 (UTC)


Well, it looks like the article is being overwhelmed with trivia. That was predictable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

It's all relevant information with citations. Eagle Owl 10:00, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

There is certainly a need for some serious review of her work, but that does not mean the "trivia", which is of interest to people, has to go. Wanderer57 03:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Literary Style Criticism[edit]

The new Literary Style section (the original was renamed "Literary Approach", and this section added on) is clearly biased and appears to be original research. I recommend reversion to original layout and only including criticism that can be cited from external sources. Also, as stated above, this should be balanced with positive appraisals of her work, as the Nobel committee certainly wasn't paid off by a woman who was indifferent at best about receiving the award. 21:54, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I have Been Bold and rewritten the literary style section, including adding requests for quote citations. If the quote citations can't be found, I think those statements are likely original research. Raddick 13:20, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm no expert on this, not even close, but to me the current section called "Literary Style" is not about style at all. I would say it is mostly about the genre, or maybe the subject matter, of Doris Lessing's work. Wanderer57 20:31, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Too much reliance on Harold Bloom?[edit]

I know that Harold Bloom is a highly respected literary critic, but it seems that this article quotes only him. Should we include other critics' perspectives? (Full disclosure: I really like Lessing and am thrilled that she won the Nobel Prize.) The criticisms of her prize belong in Wikipedia, but we should include multiple perspectives. Raddick 13:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The Harold Bloom sour grapes were done away with recently. Nixdorf 09:35, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

"the female experience"[edit]

Quote from introduction, paragraph 2: "She was described by the Swedish Academy as "the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny""

Even allowing for language differences, I question whether the Academy described her as "the female experience". Wanderer57 23:53, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. The correct quote was in the citation following the cut off sentence. María (críticame) 00:23, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Doris Lessing is Gregor Gysi's aunt. (?)[edit]

This information was added to the introduction.

Apparently Doris Lessing was married to Gottfried Lessing from 1943 to 1949 when they divorced. Gregor Gysi was born in 1948 and his mother was the sister of Gottfried. Doris and Gregor were related through her marriage for only about a year.

This information is not important enough to be in the introduction, IMO. Wanderer57 13:40, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed! -- MightyWarrior 13:59, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed nationality categories[edit]

After reading Lessing's biography summary and Wikipedia's WP:CAT#Some_general_guidelines guidelines for categories I have removed these categories from Doris Lessing:

  • Category:Persian writers
  • Category:Persian women writers
  • Category:Zimbabwean novelists
  • Category:Zimbabwean short story writers
  • Category:Zimbabwean memoirists
  • Category:Zimbabwean women writers

She was born in Persia but from married British parents. Her father, Alfred Cook Tayler, was born in Colchester so would have been British otherwise than by descent (presumably by lex soli as his father worked there) and so could pass his British citizenship to his daughter automatically, by lex sanguinis. So Doris would have been born a British citizen by descent. Her parents left Persia for the then British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1925 and she left for London in 1949. I found no record of her renouncing British nationality to take up any other nationality. -Wikianon 01:52, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

24 years of life in Zimbabwe, including important formative years, qualifies her as Zimbabwean. --Orange Mike 16:16, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Does it not matter that the country wasn't Zimbabwe while she lived there? Wouldn't she be more accurately referred to as a (Southern) Rhodesian? I don't believe, however, that she was ever an official citizen and they did ban her for a number of years. María (críticame) 16:48, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the precedent says that we use the current term for a country when doing nationality tags. As to the ban: that very ban is part of her life as a Zimbabwean/Southern-Rhodesian, as Mandela's imprisonment/banning helps make him a significant South African. --Orange Mike 17:03, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

9/11 Controversy[edit]

Can anyone adress what she said? Here is the BBC article for reference -- 13:09, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Why? I believe it's sensationalist and not encyclopedic, but that's just my individual opinion. Wikipedia is not a news source. María (críticame) 13:28, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it's sensationalist and not really notable in terms of her whole career. And therefore probably best left out. If it was included, it would need a lot more of the context to be spelt out: she wasn't saying that 9/11 was insignificant; rather, she was saying that it wasn't that terrible in comparison with other terrorist atrocities in other countries. To leave out that comparison would mis-represent what she said. Bluewave 17:20, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree whole heartedly about the issue of context. I'm afraid that it may tiptoe the edge of WP:BLP concerns, as well. If there was enough information, about this statement and others, to constitute a Controversies section, then I would consent to its addition. As it stands now, however, an entire section dedicated to one quote, taken completely out of context, gives undue weight and portrays Lessing in a far too critical light. I've removed it again until these issues can be resolved. María (críticame) 18:13, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
The only reason to include it is to paint her as wicked in the eyes of those who canonize 9/11 due to American exceptionalism. It definitely fails WP:UNDUE. --Orange Mike 18:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree (although thank you for pointing me to such an interesting article). If it is verifiable (and it is), it should be mentioned in a NPOV way, in my opinion. --John 18:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I have to object to Orangemike's reasoning, remember to assume good faith that a person who wants to include it doesn't necessarily want to wave an American flag and hold the 9/11 incident as "holy". It is very verifiable, unlike María's suggestion to the contrary that there isn't much information. So I agree with John here. But it would have to be done fairly, to include her reasoning for the statement. Leaving it out because you don't want to include it because you agree that 9/11 wasn't notable is POV, and it does make her Nobel Prize win somewhat controversial. -- Atamasama 23:41, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, I'd like to expand on what has fueled the controversy. The specific reason why the Nobel Prize was given to Doris Lessing was predominantly for her "skepticism". While this is being rewarded, she is being quoted as being skeptical of the importance of 9/11 when compared to actions of the IRA. Maybe this controversy is better located on the page for the Nobel Prize itself, rather than this lady, because it adds to the complaints made about the alleged agenda of the Nobel Prize committee (some of which are already documented on their page). Basically, if they award a prize for skepticism to a person publically skeptical of the importance of 9/11 then they are themselves downplaying the importance of 9/11. Whether you agree or not that it is a bad thing, it is controversial and shouldn't be ignored. Like it or not, it's very verifiable (she is directly quoted in numerous reliable news sources) and controversial. -- Atamasama 01:15, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Let me clarify on my previous comment, since it seems to have been misunderstood: I do not deny that there are numerous news stories about this recent topic, but I do not believe it warrants its own section, as it had been displayed before. If there were information about not only this incident, but others, then it would be proper to create an entire section dedicated to controversies and therefore not singling this one in particular. There is no denying that this isn't controversial. To pinpoint this sensationalist story amidst a highly outspoken career such as Lessing's, however, gives undue weight. That is why I agree to its removal until something more all encompassing can be included, with reliable sourcing, of course. María (críticame) 01:50, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
If it's included in this article it wouldn't warrant its own section, and I completely agree with you that creating a controversies section would be silly if there weren't other controversies to include. If it were to go in, I would think it should go into the Writing Career section, where it discusses her Nobel Prize win. Maybe just two sentences, giving her (full) quote and why it is controversial. Again, it's controversial because the quote comes on the heels of her Nobel Prize win, if she'd made the quote at any other time I don't think many people would have paid attention. -- Atamasama 17:48, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


I removed the images State flag of Iran 1964-1980.svg and Flag of the United Kingdom.svg from the infobox along with a minor copyedit earlier today. WP:MOSFLAG gives a good series of arguments for why the use of flags in this way over-simplifies nationality and is deprecated. Lessing is a classic case, with such a varied history, displaying the flag seems to give enormously undue weight to her (former) country of birth; after all her formative years were spent in Flag of Southern Rhodesia.svg Southern Rhodesia when it was a colony of the United Kingdom, and she has lived most of her life in Flag of England.svg England. Adding all these flags would look silly and it is better just to state the facts in text and let people browse to the country articles if they are interested in the flags. This also avoids sterile edit wars and controversies about which flag or flags to display. No information is added, I would contend, by showing these flags. If anyone disagrees with me, please bring encyclopedic reasons here and we can discuss. --John 16:55, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Hear, hear. --lquilter 17:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


On a related point, is there a good reason why "English" has been chosen for the categories (English novelist, English woman writer etc). Would "British" be a better description for Lessing, given that she is not especially associated with an English cultural identity, but her nationality is British? Bluewave 17:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I concur with Bluewave. --Orange Mike 18:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, British seems like a better category. --John 18:31, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
OK I made the changes as no-one has objected. Bluewave 14:31, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


One of the problems with infoboxes (as with categories) is that the information in them is usually unreferenced. A case in point is the list of Lessing's "influenced" writers. I haven't found anything stating that Octavia E. Butler was influenced by Doris Lessing. Surely we need a reference quoting Butler or a scholar who discerned such influence. It's not in the article of either writer. I didn't check the list of other writers "influenced" by Lessing, but I imagine the same problems lurk. My plan is to remove the list of "influences" and "influenced-by" until and unless there is a discussion in the article itself which includes that information, in referenced or reference-able form, which the infobox can summarize. Thoughts? --lquilter 17:42, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I support that proposal. All information here needs to be verifiable, and these lists of "influences" tend to attract fluff over time. --John 18:27, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Order of the British Empire?[edit]

The introduction states that Lessing is a member of the Order of the British Empire. However I can not find any information about this anywhere else. Is this correct? Reinhardheydt (talk) 23:52, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

The article clarifies: "She declined a damehood, but accepted a Companion of Honour at the end of 1999 for 'conspicuous national service'." She has the post-nominal letters of CH OBE. See also List of Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour. María (habla conmigo) 00:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

"Obama Controversy"[edit]

If Barack Obama becomes the next US president he will surely be assassinated, British Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing predicted in a newspaper interview published here Saturday. Obama, who is vying to become the first black president in US history, "would certainly not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would murder him," Lessing, 88, told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Lessing, who won the 2007 Nobel Literature Prize, said it might be better if Obama's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton were to succeed in her bid to become the first woman president of the United States.

"The best thing would be if they (Clinton and Obama) were to run together. Hillary is a very sharp lady. It might be calmer if she were to win, and not Obama," she said. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

By the illuminati?? A lone gunmEn? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shniken1 (talkcontribs) 23:59, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Lessing and Rhodesia[edit]

I find it odd that the article addresses her opposition to apartheid in South Africa, but says nothing about her reaction to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia) and apartheid there. Having grown up in the country, I expect she might have commented on it at some point. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 15:43, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Book Club and Communist Party[edit]

Is the Left Book Club really the same as the wikilinked one? The club was based in Britain, Lessing lived in Rhodesia at the time. Was there a separate Rhodesian club with the same name? Some other sources mentions the Southern Rhodesia Communist Party. My feeling would be that the 'book club' was a cover for the illegal communist party. --Soman (talk) 20:03, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


I would like to tidy up the Works section as I feel it's a little cluttered. What I propose doing is to categorise her books by Novels, Series, Story collections, Non-fiction, etc, and use two columns instead of three. Does anyone have any objections? --Bruce1eetalk 14:29, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I've reworked this section, using as my primary source. I've left out the reprints, but please check for any errors and omissions. --Bruce1eetalk 06:19, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Doris converts to Sufi Islam?[edit]

In the section 'Literary style' we read: "She later converted to Sufi Islam, saying her life and Marxist worldview lacked a spiritual dimension." Reference: Doris converts to Sufi Islam

The article is actually entitled "Doris Lessing: the Sufi connection" and says:

"She went on, after all, equally to explore - and in bold and serious terms - an astonishingly wide range of themes: among them racial injustice, love, the politics of the body and intimacy, Marxism, psychoanalysis, political activism, terrorism, ageing, the 'new physics', spirituality, and Sufi mysticism"

and "Lessing's move into Sufi studies ..."

This is not at all the same as saying that she converted and especially not that she converted to Sufi Islam. Her main influence was the Sufi teacher and author Idries Shah who presented Sufism in a universal fashion and as an 'action philosophy', minus most of its religious accretions. EricT (talk) 14:20, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I agree regarding her previous interest in Marxism. However, the Sufi Way (especially as Doris Lessing would see it, being a self-confessed pupil of Idries Shah) is not a religion, nor something to convert to, imo. EricT (talk) 21:24, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Islamic categories[edit]

Does anyone have references to back up the inclusion of Doris Lessing in the categories 'British Muslims' and 'Converts to Islam'? Cheers, EricT (talk) 09:28, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I've taken them out. They're unsourced (and I believe inaccurate). Jayen466 04:47, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


Can anyone please edit this article so it shows in the 'notable awards' section that she won the Prince of Asturias Award in 2001? I have tried to do it myself but I completely fucked the whole article up and when I see things like this I think its only fair to bring it to someone's attention. Danke —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:41, 25 August 2009 UTC

The Prince of Asturias Award is only one of many awards she has received (see Doris Lessing#Awards). The "Notable Awards" section in the infobox is reserved for the most notable awards only, and the Nobel Prize stands above all the others. --Bruce1eetalk 09:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


The title of Damehood was offered to Lessing but she turned it down, and therefore, should NOT be referred to as OBE. --Irshgrl500 17:04, 8 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Irshgrl500 (talkcontribs)

Added info about declining OBE, and reason for declining DBE. She did accept CH later. Full list here - Declining a British honour. Jonpatterns (talk) 17:53, 20 March 2014 (UTC)


Moved here from the article. --Bruce1eetalk 07:52, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

The Sweetest Dream is not one of Lessing's best attempts to describe social and political history in a fictional form. She believes she has written a novel about the Sixties as a phenomenon of socio-political mass consciousness. She has not. It is very weak as an encapsulation of that decade in England, and has no relevance outside of the UK. It seems it tells us much about her life experience and little about the times. Lessing's mysticism -- about the overmind or ether that links all minds into some group consensual consciousness -- ruins some of her serious social novels. This is one. The Good Terrorist is a much better novel in that respect, and Children of Violence better yet.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Seajenes (talkcontribs) 07:39, 12 October 2009 UTC

How to contact with Doris Lessing?[edit]

I am just curious is there any specific way to reach Doris Lessing? I wish I could drop her an email or a letter or so, make sure she will read it since I would like to have a discussion with her about 1 of her books, thanx. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zhengjdc (talkcontribs) 01:33, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I suspect, based on your question, that you found one of our over 5.4 million articles and thought we were affiliated in some way with that subject. Please note that you are at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and this page is for asking questions related to using or contributing to Wikipedia itself. Thus, we have no special knowledge about the subject of your question. You can, however, search our vast catalogue of articles by typing a subject into the search field on the upper right side of your screen. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we have a reference desk, divided into various subject areas, where asking knowledge questions is welcome. Best of luck.--Orange Mike | Talk 01:59, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Doris Lessing's home in Zimbabwe[edit]

I don't understand why would someone delete the location of her home in Zimbabwe. I got this and verified this from various old Rhodesian people who were her friends in Zimbabwe to confirm the exact location. If citation is required, then it's almost impossible to get this freaking location with citation. Even if you consulted Doris about her home, you still lack the citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zhengjdc (talkcontribs) 02:45, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

No-one deleted it, it is moved to the external links section. Span (talk) 02:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I notice that there are number of external links on this page. Please consider adding this link to an indepth video of Doris Lessing telling her life story. The video is freely available on the Web of Stories (

She talks about her career as a writer, mentions her works and shares her thoughts on dreams, adventure, finding things out, teaching through stories and songs, and many more. I think it's a valuable repertory of information about Doris Lessing and comes from the most reliable source - herself! — Preceding unsigned comment added by HappyLarry88 (talkcontribs) 14:45, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

There was a mass add of this website to many articles last year, so this site is taken as spam. Thanks Span (talk) 15:16, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand. It's a website that offers very valuable and educational material for free and the only thing it promotes are famous people telling their life stories. It doesn't have any ads, banners or external links. You keep hundreds of links to IMDB and for some reason it's not considered as spam (although you can find commercial ads and banners there). The same thing with YouTube, articles from The Telegraph, NY Times etc. Where is the logic in that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by HappyLarry88 (talkcontribs) 17:12, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

The reasoning is that certain editors are adding hundreds of these external links to Web of stories - certain accounts have been created only to add links to this organisation. This is taken as work exclusively to promote the website, not primarily improve the articles. This is why it is taken as spam. As you say "It's a website that offers very valuable and educational material". The addition is for the benefit of the website. The site was blacklisted in the past as so many links were added. IMDb is not held as a reliable source. See WP:RS/IMDB, but just because other links are there that should not be, does not give a precedence to add further unwanted links. Span (talk) 12:25, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

The Grass Is Singing[edit]

The Grass Is Singing is not volume 1 of the Martha Quest series. It stands alone. The Martha Quest series contains 5, not 4, volumes. Jenny Diski — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:00, 22 November 2014‎ UTC

I've corrected that statement in the article. In the "List of works" section, The Grass Is Singing is listed as a free-standing book, while the Martha Quest series is listed as The Children of Violence series, and contains 5 volumes. —Bruce1eetalk 14:40, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Literary Career - both "useful idiot" references defective[edit]

Neither the BBC link nor the article in The Zimbabwean at the very end of this section are now accessible.

This is a pity because the nature of Lessing's commitment to the Communist Party before and after she left Southern Rhodesia is of genuine interest - especially her own subsequent assessment of those connections and what they meant to her at the time.

Can someone restore those links? Or add any views she may have expressed later about the Soviet Union, left-wing politics, etc etc. John Crowfoot (talk) 12:10, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Lessing's comments in reaction to winning the Nobel Prize[edit]

The "Oh Christ!" and "royal flush" lines are technically not misquotes. But the way they are presented in "print" does not at all convey the weary and flippant/sarcastic tone she employed, as can be seen here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:53, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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