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.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||1st Vintage Books ed|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.58(d)|
About the Author
Doris Lessing was born of British parents in Persia, in 1919, and moved with her family to Southern Rhodesia when she was five years old. She went to England in 1949 and has lived there ever since. She is the author of more than thirty books—novels, stories, reportage, poems, and plays. In 2007, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Date of Birth:October 22, 1919
Place of Birth:Persia (now Iran)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Memoirs of a Survivor based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
I read this for a Brit Lit class at Ohio State, back in the 80s. I don't remember a lot about it except that I was impressed with Lessing's writing style.
This year I've read crappy books and I've read outstanding books, but this is the first one that bored me to sleep. Luckily, I read it on the Greyhound, so snoozing was pretty much the best thing I could have done. Thanks, Doris.Maybe it's just different tastes. I feel like Lessing created a few flashes of a story I'd be interested in reading. Where were the gathering tribes going? What were all those people doing to scavenge the parts they sold in collected markets? What happened to folks picked up by the powers that be? What was the deal with the cat-dog? I wanted to know more about the amoral children living in the sewers and the sexual morals created in an end-times situation.Instead I got a sort of dreamy, drifty, shoulder-shrugging, oblivious side view of the whole affair. A story about a girl's first experience with love and sex, but without any real passion applied to the tale telling. And something about an alternate reality that may or may not exist only in the narrator's mind.final thought: Not my cup of tea, but there was enough happening around the borders that I wouldn't refuse to try another of her novels.
Society is breaking down, communications are almost gone and the government is so out of control it may as well not exist. Within this world the narrator, an unnamed woman, watches the world outside her window and keeps to herself. Until one day Emily, and her pet, are left in her care by a stranger.Emily is a young teenager on the cusp of adulthood and beginning to attempt to find her way in a world that has no order. So she starts to integrate into the streetlife, the nomadic tribes and the people searching for a new meaning to their lives. And so the narrator is also drawn in whilst at the same time losing herself into a distant world entirely seperate from the harsh reality.This is a dystopian fiction I really wanted to like, and parts of it I did. The tales of Emily and her experiences and the descriptions of 'real' life, I enjoyed thoroughly. However, I lost interest and patience with the other parts of this novel, as I felt myself being hit repeatedly over the head with ill-disguised meaning and tedious metaphors. The language was sometimes simple but too often flowery and longwinded and I felt my attention draining from the pages.Thankfully this was short and so I was able to keep going in order to find out what happened in the real world, which was all I was interested in. I did try to immerse myself more fully into the book but I couldn't manage it.Those who have read anything else by this author might have better success than me as I felt part of my problem was the writing style, which was just too convuluted for me. This all felt like trying far too hard to be deep and meaningful.However, the underlying story is intriguing and well realised and one I've glad I've read. I just wish I hadn't had the slog of unnecessary words to experience it.