Doris Lessing Facts

Doris Lessing Facts
Doris Lessing was a British Nobel Prize winning writer best known for her novel The Grass is Singing, and her series of novels Children of Violence. She was born Doris May Taylor on October 22nd, 1919 in Kermanshah, Persia to Captain Alfred Taylor, a World War I veteran, and Emily Maude Taylor, a nurse. In 1925 the family moved to Zimbabwe to farm. Doris attended the Dominican Convent High School until she was 14 and those to be self-educated. She began working as a nursemaid at 15. In 1937 she took a job as a telephone operator, married Frank Wisdom, and had two children. They divorced and she remarried and had another child. When her second marriage ended, she moved to London in 1949 with her youngest son. Her first novel The Grass is Singing was published in 1950.
Interesting Doris Lessing Facts:
Doris Lessing began to sell short stories to magazines at the age of 15.
Doris Lessing published several books in the 1950s, before her breakthrough book was published in 1962. These titles include This was the Old Chief's Country (1951), Martha Quest (1952), Five: Short Novels (1953), A Proper Marriage (1954), A Retreat to Innocence (1956), The Habit of Loving (1957), Going Home (1957), A Ripple from the Storm (1958), Fourteen Poems (1959), In Pursuit of the English (1960), and Play with a Tiger (1962).
Doris Lessing's breakthrough novel was The Golden Notebook. It was published in 1962.
While trying to make a point about how difficult it is for new writers to be published, Doris submitted two novels, The Diary of a Good Neighbour, and If the Old Could, to her publisher in the UK under the penname Jane Somers. They were both rejected.
Both rejected novels were later published by other publishers in the United States and in England.
Doris Lessing went on to write and publish more than 55 novels. She wrote fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, autobiographies, and opera. She wrote in many genres including fantasy, science fiction, and the women's movement, among other topics.
Doris Lessing was known for speaking her mind on most topics. She was even forbidden from entering South Africa for a time because of her outspoken views against white minority rule.
Doris Lessing won many awards in her lifetime including the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was 88 years old at the time and was the oldest winner of the prize in literature at the time. She was also only the 11th woman to win the prize in literature.
Doris Lessing won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1954, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1981, the WH Smith Literary Award in 1986, the Palermo Prize in 1987, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in 1989, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography in 1995, the Los Angeles Time Book Prize in 1995, the Order of the Companions of Honour in 1999, the David Cohen Prize in 2001, and several more.
Doris Lessing died on November 17th, 2013, in London, England, at the age of 94.


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