The influential and prolific writer, has died in her London home at age 94. Lessing left school at age 14 and devoted herself to reading. “I never stopped reading,” she told Bill Moyers in a 2003 interview. “I read and read and read. And it was what saved me. And educated me.”
Lessing is best known for her 1962 novel “The Golden Notebook,” whose bold, experimental narrative delves into the inner life of a leftist writer. Exploring the themes of women’s rights, motherhood and communism, the book has been called “a feminist bible.”
Lessing also wrote more than 50 other novels as well as short stories, science fiction, essays, poetry and even operas. Her first novel, “The Grass Is Singing,” set in Zimbabwe, was published in 1950. Her other celebrated works include “The Memoirs of a Survivor” (1974), a dystopian vision of urban life in Britain. Lessing’s last book, “Alfred and Emily,” was published in 2008. Part fiction and part memoir, it is based on her parents’ lives.
When she was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007 — becoming only the 11th woman in 106 years to win the prize — Lessing was characteristically blunt: “I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.”