Read A Man and Two Women: Stories by Doris Lessing Free Online
Book Title: A Man and Two Women: Stories|
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Reader ratings: 6.9
The author of the book: Doris Lessing
Edition: Touchstone Book/Simon & Schuster
Date of issue: November 1984
ISBN 13: 9780671541903
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 15.69 MB
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Overall, the tone of the book is depressing. The stories are about unhappy people (women usually the focus). But depressing material can also be insightful. The stand-out in that regard was the last story, To Room Nineteen. Really heavy, but poignant and thought-provoking.
The first few stories on the other hand were a miss for me (One Off the Short List, The Story of Two Dogs, and A Woman on a Roof, particularly). They're not pleasant stories that are meant to be enjoyed, though, so I think that means that they were actually successful. The characters in them are distasteful.
But if you persevere, you'll get to How I Finally Lost My Heart, which I enjoyed. It's conversational and interesting.
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Read information about the authorBoth of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Olive Schreiner and Nadine Gordimer), Lessing made herself into a self-educated intellectual.
In 1937 she moved to Salisbury, where she worked as a telephone operator for a year. At nineteen, she married Frank Wisdom, and later had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Soon she was drawn to the like-minded members of the Left Book Club, a group of Communists "who read everything, and who did not think it remarkable to read." Gottfried Lessing was a central member of the group; shortly after she joined, they married and had a son.
During the postwar years, Lessing became increasingly disillusioned with the Communist movement, which she left altogether in 1954. By 1949, Lessing had moved to London with her young son. That year, she also published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer.
In June 1995 she received an Honorary Degree from Harvard University. Also in 1995, she visited South Africa to see her daughter and grandchildren, and to promote her autobiography. It was her first visit since being forcibly removed in 1956 for her political views. Ironically, she is welcomed now as a writer acclaimed for the very topics for which she was banished 40 years ago.
In 2001 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain's most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. She also received the David Cohen British Literature Prize.
She was on the shortlist for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
(Extracted from the pamphlet: A Reader's Guide to The Golden Notebook & Under My Skin, HarperPerennial, 1995. Full text available on www.dorislessing.org).
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