Two friends, two sons, two shocking and intense love affairs . . . Roz and Lil have been best friends since childhood. But their bond stretches beyond familiar bounds when these middle-aged mothers fall in love with each other's teenage sons--taboo-shattering passions that last for years, until the women end them, vowing to have a respectable old age. With Adore, Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, once again proves her unrivaled ability to capture the truth of the human condition.
A highly personal story of the eminent British writer returning to her African roots that is "brilliant . . . [and] captures the contradictions of a young country."--New York Times Book Review
I think my father's rage at the trenches took me over, when I was very young, and has never left me. Do children feel their parents' emotions? Yes, we do, and it is a legacy I could have done without. What is the use of it? It is as if that old war is in my own memory, my own consciousness. In this extraordinary book, the 2007 Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing explores the lives of her parents, each irrevocably damaged by the Great War. Her father wanted the simple life of an English farmer, but shrapnel almost killed him in the trenches, and thereafter he had to wear a wooden leg. Her mother, Emily, spent the war nursing the wounded in the Royal Free Hospital after her great love, a doctor, drowned in the Channel. In the fictional first half of Alfred and Emily, Doris Lessing imagines the happier lives her parents might have made for themselves had there been no war; a story that begins with their meeting at a village cricket match outside Colchester. This is followed by a piercing examination of their relationship as it actually was in the shadow of the Great War, of the family's move to Africa, and of the impact of her parents' marriage on a young woman growing up in a strange land. "Here I still am," says Doris Lessing, "trying to get out from under that monstrous legacy, trying to get free." Triumphantly, with the publication of Alfred and Emily, she has done just that.
Doris Lessing ha querido rendir un homenaje a sus padres, imaginando qué hubiera sido de su vida si la Primera Guerra Mundial no hubiese truncado el porvenir de la joven pareja. El peso del conflicto fue como un castigo que planeó sobre la pequeña Doris desde su infancia, "Aquí estoy intentando escapar de esta monstruosa herencia, intentando ser libre", escribe la autora. Para conseguirlo, en la primera parte del libro Lessing inventa para sus padres una vida donde no hubiera existido la guerra, y en la segunda cuenta cómo fue su vida en realidad, primero en Inglaterra y luego en África, intercalando en las páginas del texto unas viejas fotos familiares."Si ahora pudiera conocer a Alfred y Emily sin la pesadilla de la guerra, creo que estarían contentos de la vida que he imaginado para ellos", acaba diciendo Lessing en estas páginas.Ficción y autobiografía a la vez, acertada amalgama de imaginación y recuerdos, la novela más reciente de esta gran narradora demuestra una vez más el talento de una mujer que, a sus noventa años, sabe describir su propia vida como si de un cuento se tratara."Se supone que, llegados a cierta edad, dejamos de innovar, pero Doris Lessing es excepcional y nos sorprende una vez más."The Guardian
At eighteen, Ben is in the world, but not of it. He is too large, too awkward, too inhumanly made. Now estranged from his family, he must find his own path in life. From London and the south of France to Brazil and the mountains of the Andes. Ben is tossed about in a tumultuous search for his people, a reason for his being. How the world receives him, and, he fares in it will horrify and captivate until the novel's dramatic finale.
In this ambitious novel of madness and release, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Doris Lessing imagines the fantastical "inner-space" life of an amnesiac. Charles Watkins, a Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, has suffered a breakdown, confined to a mental hospital as his friends and doctors attempt to bring him back to reality. But Watkins has embarked on a tremendous pyschological adventure that takes him from a spinning raft in the Atlantic to a ruined stone city on a tropical island to an outer-space journey through singing planets. As he travels in his mind through memory and the farther reaches of imagination, his doctors try to subdue him with ever more powerful drugs in a competition for his soul. In this provocative novel, Lessing takes us on a harrowing voyage into the rarely glimpsed territory of the inner mind.
From Doris Lessing, "one of the most important writers of the past hundred years" (Times of London), comes a brilliant, darkly provocative alternative history of humankind's beginnings. In the last years of his life, a Roman senator embarks on one final epic endeavor, a retelling of the history of human creation. The story he relates is the little-known saga of the Clefts, an ancient community of women with no knowledge of nor need for men. Childbirth was controlled through the cycles of the moon, and only female offspring were born--until the unanticipated event that jeopardized the harmony of their close-knit society: the strange, unheralded birth of a boy.
Poco después de que su última amante lo abandone, George, hombre de teatro y mujeriego, despierta una mañana con un inconfundible dolor en el pecho, que nada tiene que ver con su corazón roto. Una muchacha de ojos tristes se ofrecerá entonces a cuidarlo día y noche.
Matrimonios en apariencia bien avenidos pero rotos en su intimidad, parejas que buscan leyes insólitas de convivencia para superar el tedio, mujeres mayores que solo saben amar a distancia y jóvenes que descubren el sexo entre las ruinas de las casas de Londres, bombardeadas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial... En estos cuentos está la esencia de Doris Lessing, una mujer capaz de describir una relación de años en un solo párrafo. En este volumen se recogen todos los cuentos que la gran escritora ha ambientado en Europa y que fueron redactados desde su llegada a Inglaterra en 1949 hasta el final del siglo XX: cincuenta años de escritura dedicados a analizar con rigor y piedad lo que nos define como seres humanos.
Doris Lessing's contemporary gothic horror story--centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human--probes society's unwillingness to recognize its own brutality. Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside--until the birth of their fifth baby. Gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant-like about him. As he grows older and more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him. Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.
Dorris Lessing's classic series of autobiographical novels is the fictional counterpart to Under My Skin. In these five novels, first published in the 1950's and 60s, Doris Lessing transformed her fascinating life into fiction, creating her most complex and compelling character, Martha Quest.
This brilliant uncompromising novel probes the nature of woman's sexuality and dares to question the value of marriage and the conventions of sex morality.
A hugely significant political novel for the late twentieth-century from one of the outstanding writers of the modern era. In a London squat a band of bourgeois revolutionaries are united by a loathing of the waste and cruelty they see around them. These maladjusted malcontents try desperately to become involved in terrorist activities far beyond their level of competence. Only Alice seems capable of organising anything. Motherly, practical and determined, she is also easily exploited by the group and ideal fodder for a more dangerous and potent cause. Eventually their native radical fantasies turn into a chaos of real destruction, but the aftermath is not as exciting as they had hoped. Nonetheless, while they may not have changed the world, their lives will never be the same again. . .
In the title novel, two friends fall in love with each other's teenage sons, and these passions last for years, until the women end them, vowing a respectable old age. In Victoria and the Staveneys, a young woman gives birth to a child of mixed race and struggles with feelings of estrangement as her daughter gets drawn into a world of white privilege. The Reason for It traces the birth, faltering, and decline of an ancient culture, with enlightening modern resonances. A Love Child features a World War II soldier who believes he has fathered a love child during a fleeting wartime romance and cannot be convinced otherwise.
Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm work their slow poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic and virile black servant, Moses. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses--master and slave--are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion. Their psychic tension explodes in an electrifying scene that ends this disturbing tale of racial strife in colonial South Africa. The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.
Set in Southern Rhodesia under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is at once a riveting chronicle of human disintegration, a beautifully understated social critique, and a brilliant depiction of the quiet horror of one woman's struggleagainst a ruthless fate. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm works its slow poison. Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of Moses, an enigmatic, virile black servant. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses-master and slave-are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion, until their psychic tension explodes with devastating consequences.
Imaginen una costa escarpada, donde las olas del mar lamen unas rocas antiguas; ahí, tendidas entre el agua y la piedra, yacen unas hembras que nunca han conocido varón. Tienen su propio lenguaje y sus ritos ancestrales, pero viven en un mundo sin tiempo, sin dueño, y es la luna quien las fecunda. Dejemos ahora que una de ellas se aleje de la costa y se adentre en un valle hasta descubrir a unos seres extraños, parecidos a las hembras pero con el pecho liso y un pedazo de carne en forma de blando punzón bailando entre laspiernas... Así es como un patricio romano intenta describir los primeros días de vida en la tierra, una época de la que le han llegado unos pocos testimonios deslavazados. El hombre se pregunta cómo aprendieron a convivir nuestros ancestros e imagina sus primeros encuentros, las peleas, los reproches, el deseo de tocar y penetrar cuerpos nuevos, hasta llegar a ese primer gesto de ternura que nos definió para siempre como seres humanos. Con delicadeza e ironía, Doris Lessing cuenta cuál fue el origen de esa gran aventura que ahora nos tiene a todos, hombres y mujeres, atados a la vida. Ahí donde la ciencia no llega, el talento de una maestra abre caminos.
17 short stories that show a remarkable variety of literary experiences
In Pursuit of the English is a novelist's account of a lusty, quarrelsome, unscrupulous, funny, pathetic, full-blooded life in a working-class rooming house. It is a shrewd and unsentimental picture of Londoners you've probably never met or even read about--though they are the real English. The cast of characters--if that term can be applied to real people--includes: Bobby Brent, a con man; Mrs. Skeffington, a genteel woman who bullies her small child and flings herself down two flights of stairs to avoid having another; and Miss Priest, a prostitute, who replies to Lessing's question "Don't you ever like sex?" with "If you're going to talk dirty, I'm not interested." In swift, barbed style, in high, hard, farcical writing that is eruptively funny, Doris Lessing records the joys and terrors of everyday life. The truth of her perception shines through the pages of a work that is a brilliantpiece of cultural interpretation, an intriguing memoir and a thoroughly engaging read.
When Marshal of the Nobility Pozdnyshev suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner, his jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder. Controversial upon publication in 1890, The Kreutzer Sonata illuminates Tolstoy's then-feverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenth-century marriage, and his thinking on the role of art and music in society. In her Introduction, Doris Lessing shows how relevant The Kreutzer Sonata is to our understanding of Tolstoy the artist, as well as to feminism and literature. This Modern Library Paperback Classic also contains Tolstoy's Sequel to the Kruetzer Sonata. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Martha Quest realizes her second marriage is breaking up. She is completely disillusioned, her dark mood intensified by increasingly strained relations with her parents.
Love, Again tells the story of a 65-year-old woman who falls in love and struggles to maintain her sanity. Widowed for many years, with grown children, Sarah is a writer who works in the theater in London. During the production of a play, she falls in love with a seductive young actor, the beautiful and androgynous 28-year-old Bill, and then with the more mature 35-year-old director Henry. Finding herself in a state of longing and desire that she had thought was the province of younger women, Sarah is compelled to explore and examine her own personal history of love, from her earliest childhood desires to her most recent obsessions. The result is a brilliant anatomy of love from a master of human psychology who remains one of the most daring writers of fiction at work today.
«No podría recordar ningún momento de mi vida en el que no deseara yo ir a Inglaterra», comenta Doris Lessing en este delicioso libro de memorias que es el compendio ideal a sus dos volúmenes de autobiografía. Ese momento mágico llegó para la autora en 1949, cuando dejó Zimbabue con su hijo para viajar por primera vez a la isla y establecerse en Londres. En aquel entonces la gran ciudad empezaba a recuperarse después de los desastres de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y no fue fácil para una joven madre sin trabajo fijo y con muchas ganas de escribir encontrar un lugar donde asentarse y descubrir al mismo tiempo la esencia de lo inglés.«Cada una de sus páginas lleva el sello de la verdad y es incontestablemente legible, como ocurre con la ficción de primera.»Time
Thousands of years in the future, all the northern hemisphere is buried under the ice and snow of a new Ice Age. At the southern end of a large landmass called Ifrik, two children of the Mahondi people, seven-year old Mara and her younger brother, Dann, are abducted from their home in the middle of the night. Raised as outsiders in a poor rural village, Mara and Dann learn to survive the hardships and dangers of a life threatened as much by an unforgiving climate and menacing animals as by a hostile community of Rock People. Eventually they join the great human migration North, away from the drought that is turning the southern land to dust, and in search of a place with enough water and food to support human life. Traveling across the continent, the siblings enter cities rife with crime, power struggles, and corruption, learning as much about human nature as about how societies function. With a clear-eyed vision of the human condition, Mara and Dann is imaginative fiction at its best.
Intelligent, sensitive, and fiercely passionate, Martha Quest is a young woman living on a farm in Africa, feeling her way through the torments of adolescence and early womanhood.
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