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Doris Lessing’s lost illusions

Her masterpiece, "The Golden Notebook," reflects our attitudes to politics today

By Alasdair Craig  

Yesterday, aged 94, Doris Lessing died. Born in Iran and raised in Southern Rhodesia, Lessing came of age artistically and politically in postwar London. Frustrated by the isolation and backwardness of Southern Rhodesia (“that dreadful provincial country”), she emigrated to London in 1949, arriving with her son Peter, the manuscript of her first novel, and “rather less than £150.” But she also had that zeal peculiar to the early postwar decades, a passion born of the earnest belief in “the logic of history” of which she, and millions of communists…

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