Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing dies aged 94

  • Doris Lessing receiving Nobel Prize in 2008

British author Doris Lessing has died aged 94.

From a statement released on Monday by her publisher, Harper Collins, we learn that she "passed away peacefully at her London home in the early hours of this morning". Charlie Redmayne, CEO of Harper Collins UK, also described the author as “one of the great writers of our age"

Nobel prize winner Doris Lessing was an inventive novelist, poet and playwright who never sought to avoid controversy. She was also an author able to combine the warmest attitude towards human feelings with the greatest passion for what she believed in.

One of the brightest intellect of her generation, Lessing was awarded with the Nobel Prize for her work in literature aged 88, the oldest to receive such priced. On the occasion, she was reported remarking how back in 1960 she was told that the Swedish Nobel commission didn't like her and she would never receive the price, and wondering how did they happen to change their mind.

Born in Iran in 1919 she moved to what is now Zimbabwe as a child. In South Africa her first short story was published in a magazine, but she was soon banned from both South Africa and Rhodesia because of her campaigning against nuclear arms and apartheid. She then moved to London with her youngest son in 1949.

Her first novel, The Grass is Singing, was published in 1950, followed by a sequence of five novels collectively titled Children of Violence (1952-1969), the acclaimed The Golden Notebook (1962) which brought her to notoriety and The Good Terrorist (1985) among others.

The author is survived by daughter Jean and granddaughters Anna and Susannah.

She also leaves behind the Doris Lessing Society, dedicated to supporting the scholarly study of Lessing’s work.

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