The second volume of Doris Lessing's extraordinary autobiography covers the years 1949-62, from her arrival in war-weary London with her son, Peter, and the manuscript for her first novel, The Grass is Singing, under her arm to the publication of her most famous work of fiction, The Golden Notebook. She describes how communism dominated the intellectual life of the 1950s and how she, like nearly all communists, became disillusioned with extreme and rhetorical politics and left communism behind. Evoking the bohemian days of a young writer and single mother, Lessing speaks openly about her writing process, her friends and lovers, her involvement in the theater, and her political activities. Walking in the Shade is an invaluable social history as well as Doris Lessing's Sentimental Education.
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About the Author
Date of Birth:October 22, 1919
Place of Birth:Persia (now Iran)
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"You're absolutely insane." I state "And that's sugar-coating it." I narrow my eyes to glare at the gaudily dressed woman in front of me with the strange golden eyes. "You cannot expect me to believe that I, Fable Rose Kilent, is a so called 'Shifter'" My voice comes out gruffly and the woman lets out a peal of laughter. <p> "Well of course I don't expect you to accept it right away. I will give you more details if you'll allow me to explain." She says, trying to plaster a kind smile on her face. I sigh, realizing she probably won't let me go back to school until I agree to listen so I sigh. "Fine. But make it quick...I'm missing part of my final exam". <p> She smiles naturally now, letting out a sigh of relief. "I am Rosenallen Hope Riken, but you can call me Rose or Hope." •I won't be talking to you long enough to call you anything• I think determindly. "A Shifter is a boy or girl that, because of a goddes named Lynxen, can transform into an animal that matches that specific person's personality and looks. Like I, because of my short temperment and my gingerish hair, can turn into a fox. There is a group of hunter caled the Society that eliminates rogue Shifters. Now what I want to offer is that for you to go to the only Shifter School, which focuses on teaching young Shifters to control their tranformations and their powers, whether they have one or not. The Shifter School is in Ireland and is for four years. Each year progresses with your training, though they are much that same. The tickets are pre-paid for each student. Also when you arrive at the school everyone gets either a room with one or two other people and a budget of five hundred dollars each week for the two or three people." She pauses for a deep breath "I have explained all I can for now and if you would like to attend the school, which is highly recommened or otherwise the Society will come after you, a flight to Ireland is taking off at Ravenbrook Airport at 9:30 am. I have already given your ticket to the head of your orphanage and the rest is up to you." She smiles kindly and with that dissapears. I stare in shock and curiousity after her and shakes my head, deciding to think about it when I get back to the orphange. Standing up, I start to long trek to the orphanage, thoughts storming around my head like a swarm of bees.
I was 15 yrs old when I first encountered Doris Lessing. Her books teach a sophisticated type of compassion. She is a very intelligent and up front storyteller. Its been 47 years and her stories are still with me.
The title refers to Lessing's ability to use words with both intelligence and sensitivity. In this book we know about her struggles ( quite alike her heroines') as a young single mother eager to be a good writer. I suggest the readers to read as many books by Lessing they can, and, if possible, order the reading in some sense. either chronological, by theme, or other, as she can be read several times and you will always find something new. She is one of the contemporary master of language.