Credit: Shutterstock/Doris Lessing

There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth

Nobel prize winning writer and novelist Doris Lessing is widely considered to be one of the greatest figures of late-20th century literature.

Born to British parents in Iran and spending her later childhood in what’s now Zimbabwe, aged 15, she began writing short stories which she sold to a magazines. She had the manuscript of her first novel, Grass is Singing in her luggage when she arrived in London, a twice-divorced mother of a young son by the age of 30– in 1949.

The Grass is Singing created a sensation, exposing the inequality and injustice of white colonial supremacy in Southern Africa. Lessing’s work reflected her social political and feminist conscience: Her most feted work, The Golden Notebook established new ground in feminist writing, with the protagonist searching to find her personal, political and sexual identity.

Later on in her career, Lessing started to experiment with science fiction and fantasy and wove her ideas into several novels and novellas which she referred to as space fiction.

Lessing was awarded a Nobel Prize of Literature in 2007 at the age of 88. She was hailed as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.”