Doris Lessing, 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner, Dies at Age 94
Prolific writer, Doris Lessing, died at the age of 94 this morning at her home in London. Lessing was the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, making her only the 11th female to win the honor.
Known for her wit and outspoken nature, Lessing was 88 when she won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for her life’s work, making her the oldest writer to receive the award. Some of her best-known works include The Golden Notebook, Memoirs of a Survivor and The Summer Before the Dark.
Born in 1919 in Persia (now Iran,) Lessing and her family moved to what is now known as Zimbabwe in 1925 with the unsuccessful hopes of making a fortune farming maize. Lessing described her childhood as painful and unhappy, which she often attributed to her success as a fiction writer.
“Yes, I think that is true. Though it wasn’t apparent to me then. Of course, I wasn’t thinking in terms of being a writer then – I was just thinking about how to escape, all the time.”
Lessing wrote her debut novel The Grass is Singing in 1950, and her successful The Golden Notebook in 1962, which the Swedish Academy hailed as “a pioneering work” that “belongs to the handful of books that informed the 20th Century view of the male-female relationship”.
Fans on Twitter paid tribute to the writing pioneer.
The grass is singing mournful truths. #Lessing.
— robert madelin (@eurohumph) November 17, 2013
“There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.” R.I.P., Doris #Lessing
— Violet Hammersly (@violethammersly) November 17, 2013
“Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” Doris #Lessing
— Ali Ghezelbash (@aghezelbash) November 17, 2013
Sad to hear about Doris #Lessing's passing. Great African author. The body may have succumbed, but the body of work endures and lives on.
— franklin Brown (@franklin19788) November 17, 2013
— Ann Hunter (@acghunter) November 17, 2013
— Sarah Corbett Morgan (@morgansc) November 17, 2013
The content of Lessing’s works is extremely varied. While some novels are semi-biographical and told of life in Africa, others are psychological thrillers. She also penned science fiction novels.
Lessing is survived by her daughter, Jean, and granddaughters Anna and Susannah.
Image via Wikimedia Commons