Doris Lessing

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Novelist and essayist Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She lived in England most of her life, but she grew up in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing often addressed racism and colonialism in her writing, including in a series of novels about a fictional character named Martha Quest. She was best known for her 1962 book, The Golden Notebook, which was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time.

In the course of a long and eventful life, author Doris Lessing was many things.

She was a mother — and a self-described "house mother" for a procession of starving artists, writers and political refugees. She was a refugee herself, from bourgeois respectability in 1940s Rhodesia. She was a campaigner against racism, a lover, an ardent communist, and a serial rescuer of cats.

Doris Lessing, the Nobel Prize-winning author, died Sunday morning according her publisher, Harper Collins.

Lessing, who produced 55 works, including poetry, operas and short stories, was 94 years old.