You are here

Doris Lessing, award winning novelist, dies aged 94

Doris Lessing, award winning novelist, dies aged 94

Nobel Prize-winning British novelist Doris Lessing has died at her home in London aged 94. Lessing was the oldest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature when she won the award, aged 88,   2007.  She was shortlisted for the Booker prize three times: Briefing for a Descent into Hell (1971); The Sirian Experiments (1981); and The Good Terrorist (1985).  She was also twice shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (2005 and 2007).

Doris Lessing was born in October 1919 in Iran, then known as Persia, before moving to Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia, before settling in England in 1949.  Her debut novel was The Grass is Singing published in 1950, but her breakthrough work is considered The Golden Notebook published in 1962.  In 2005 TIME magazine named The Golden Notebook as one of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.  She went onto a prolific career spanning six decades, in which she won the Somerset Maugham Award, the WH Smith Literary Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the David Cohen Prize.

In a statement from her publisher, Harper Collins, to the BBC Lessing was described as ‘one of the great writers of our age. She was a compelling storyteller with a fierce intellect and a warm heart who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in’.