The memoirs of a survivor

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Knopf : distributed by Random House, 1975 - Fiction - 213 pages
109 Reviews
In a beleaguered city where rats and roving gangs terrorize the streets, where government has broken down and meaningless violence holds sway, a woman -- middle-aged and middle-class -- is brought a twelve-year-old girl and told that it is her responsibility to raise the child. This book, which the author has called "an attempt at autobiography," is that woman's journal -- a glimpse of a future only slightly more horrendous than our present, and of the forces that alone can save us from total destruction.

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Review: The Memoirs of a Survivor

User Review  - Helen - Goodreads

This is the first full-length work I've read by Lessing, and I definitely plan on reading more. The sophisticated weaving together of the inner and outer life of a woman surviving in a post-disaster ... Read full review

Review: The Memoirs of a Survivor

User Review  - David Fransen - Goodreads

Picked this up on a whim from a used bookstore, and it turned out to be a hidden gem. It's set in a post-apocalyptic town just as all civic order is starting to fall apart. It's really more about the ... Read full review


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About the author (1975)

Born in Kermanshah, Persia (later Iran) on October 22, 1919, Doris Lessing grew up in Rhodesia (the present-day Zimbabwe). Her father was an amputee due to injuries received in World War I and, and her mother had treated his war injuries. As a child, Lessing explored the rural Rhodesian landscape, occasionally hunting small animals. While working as an au pair and a telephone operator in Salisbury, Rhodesia, Lessing read such authors as Chekhov and Tolstoy, refined her writing skills, and married twice. During her two marriages, she submitted short fiction and poetry for publication and, after moving to London in 1949 with her son, Peter, Lessing published her first novel, The Grass is Singing, in 1950. This work treated apartheid/racial issues that existed in Rhodesia at that time. She would go on to explore the individual's--women's in particular--relationship to society in many types of experimental fiction thereafter. Lessing has published many solid short-story collections but is perhaps best known for her 1954 Somerset Maugham Award-winning experimental novel The Golden Notebook. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 2001 Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, the David Cohen British Literature Prize, and the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. Lessing has also had a lifelong interest in such topics as Marxism, telepathy, and social psychology.

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