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article imageDoris Lessing, 'prolific and unconventional' author dies, aged 94

By Lesley Lanir     Nov 17, 2013 in Entertainment
London - Doris Lessing, the "prolific and unconventional" Nobel prize-winning British author of over 50 novels, has died, aged 94.
Doris Lessing, born Doris May Tayler in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919, has died, aged 94.
Doris Lessing's parents were British: her father worked in the Imperial Bank of Persia and her mother was a nurse. In 1925, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
At 13, she dropped out of school and became a self-educated intellectual. She has been quoted as saying that "unhappy childhoods seem to produce fiction writers."
By 1949, Lessing had moved to London and in the same year published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and started her career as a professional writer.
Her infamous 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, was often described as feminist writing but not by its author since Lessing preferred to point out its lesser discussed theme of mental illness.
Lessing received numerous literary awards amongst them the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, 2001, one of Spain's most important distinctions, for her literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes.
In 2007, aged 88, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and was described by the Academy as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny." Lessing was unable to attend the ceremony so her publisher, Nicholas Pearson, gave a speech in her name.
Her most recent novel is Alfred and Emily, 2008, which she had announced would be her last book.
As a tribute, The Telegraph has republished their last interview with Doris Lessing in which she is described as "prolific and unconventional" and where she discusses topics such as "her mother, Hitler and literary awards."
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