Friday, October 12, 2007

Come and sit a spell

Doris Lessing wins Nobel Prize for Literature - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Yesterday it was announced that Doris Lessing had won the Nobel Prize for literature. She was on her way home from shopping and was met by a hoard of journalists on her front porch. So she sat down and answered questions. What an awesome 87-year-old!

I've spent time this year re-reading her books, this time in order. I've read the first two books of the "Children of Violence" series: Martha Quest and A Proper Marriage. Many times I found myself quoting passages out loud to Ravenhub because she does such a wonderful job of popping the overinflated egos of the colonists in Africa.

Here's some quotes form her encounter with the press yesterday:

"I was coming back from the hospital with my son Peter who was sick. I stepped out of a taxi and there were all these cameras, a whole posse of photographers. As this street is very good for that kind of thing, I thought they were shooting a soap or an episode of Morse or something. But it was me. So I first heard that I had won the Nobel prize for literature from the reporters."

"It is the most glamorous prize, and naturally it has got a lot of prestige, which none of the other prizes have, so it's the icing on the cake. At one point, sometime in the 70s, they [the Nobel academy] didn't like me - they said they didn't - but they seem to have changed their minds. Committees are like that. Of course I didn't expect to get it. I've been on the shortlist for 40 years. It is good to be the 11th woman on the list, I'm only sorry that one of the first or fourth or the fifth wasn't Virginia Woolf. But I don't think it is helpful to talk about writers in terms of male and female. A lot of British writers have won it, which is good. We produce a lot of good writers. I've been talking non-stop all day. I've spoken to my publisher and agent and old friends who rang me up, which was very good. There were lots of people who have wanted me to have it for a long time, so it is very nice that I have. I'm exhausted. To celebrate I'd have to go and buy champagne. I'm going to bed."


bint alshamsa said...

Good for her! Maybe I'll try and check out some of her books.