Doris May Lessing 22 October 1919 – 17 November 2013 was a British novelist. She was born to British parents in Iran, where she lived until 1925. Her family then moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she remained until moving in 1949 to London, England. Her novels include The Grass Is Singing (1950), the sequence of five novels collectively called Children of Violence (1952–1969), The Golden Notebook (1962), The Good Terrorist (1985), and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos: Archives (1979–1983).

Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy described her as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".[2] Lessing was the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, at age 87.

Novels and Stories


The Grass Is Singing (1950) (filmed as Killing Heat (1981))

Retreat to Innocence (1956)

The Golden Notebook (1962)

Briefing for a Descent into Hell (1971)

The Summer Before the Dark (1973)

The Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)

The Diary of a Good Neighbour (as Jane Somers, 1983)

If the Old Could... (as Jane Somers, 1984)

The Good Terrorist (1985)

The Fifth Child (1988)

Love, Again (1996)

Mara and Dann (1999)

Ben, in the World (2000) – sequel to The Fifth Child

The Sweetest Dream (2001)

The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog (2005) – sequel to Mara and Dann

The Cleft (2007)

Children of Violence series (1952–1969)

Martha Quest (1952)

A Proper Marriage (1954)

A Ripple from the Storm (1958)

Landlocked (1965)

The Four-Gated City (1969)

The Canopus in Argos: Archives series (1979–1983)

Shikasta (1979)

The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (1980)

The Sirian Experiments (1980)

The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (1982)

The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire (1983)


This Was the Old Chief's Country (1951)

Five Short Novels (1953)

Through the Tunnel (1955)[59]

The Habit of Loving (1957)

A Man and Two Women (1963)

African Stories (1964)

Winter in July (1966)

The Black Madonna (1966)

The Story of a Non-Marrying Man (1972)

This Was the Old Chief's Country: Collected African Stories, Vol. 1 (1973)

The Sun Between Their Feet: Collected African Stories, Vol. 2 (1973)

To Room Nineteen: Collected Stories, Vol. 1 (1978)

The Temptation of Jack Orkney: Collected Stories, Vol. 2 (1978)

Stories (1978)

London Observed: Stories and Sketches (1992)

The Real Thing: Stories and Sketches (1992)

Spies I Have Known (1995)

The Pit (1996)

The Grandmothers: Four Short Novels (2003) (filmed as Two Mothers)

Cat Tales

Particularly Cats (stories and nonfiction, 1967)

Particularly Cats and Rufus the Survivor (stories and nonfiction, 1993)

The Old Age of El Magnifico (stories and nonfiction, 2000)

On Cats (2002) – omnibus edition containing the above three books