11 October 2007

'A Divided Civilization Subjected to Scrutiny'

Lessing Wins Nobel Literature Prize

By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
October 11, 2007

For six decades, British novelist Doris Lessing has written works of fiction that explore the sometimes painful intertwining of the political and the personal. Today, those efforts landed her the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature.

In awarding her the prize-of-all-writing-prizes, the Swedish Academy championed Lessing as "that epicist of the female experience, who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny."

Lessing's work had been of great importance both to other writers and to the broader field of literature, academy secretary Horace Engdahl told Reuters news service. He said members of the academy had discussed her as a potential laureate for years.

"Now the moment was right. Perhaps we could say that she is one of the most carefully considered decisions in the history of the Nobel Prize," Engdahl told the wire service. "She has opened up a new area of experience that earlier had not been very accepted in literature. That has to do with, for instance, female sexuality." ....
Congratulations to Ms. Lessing.

Epigram: I learned later in this day that her watershed masterpiece is her 1962 novel The Golden Notebook.

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