Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing at the 2006 Cologne Literature Festival in Germany. Photo: Elke Wetzig

Doris Lessing at the 2006 Cologne Literature Festival in Germany. Photo: Elke Wetzig

Literary icon Doris Lessing won a Nobel Prize at 87 — and now, at 88, she says she’s written her last book.

It’s called “Alfred & Emily.” It’s about her parents. About their lives as they were — deeply scarred by World War I and played out as British colonials in outback Rhodesia. And about what their lives might have been without the trenches and blood and death of that war.

Deep in her years, Doris Lessing has a reputation these days as a brilliant, prickly, tough customer. But in this book, she is all powerful empathy and imagination. This hour, we reach out to London for a conversation with Doris Lessing.

You can join the conversation. What’s your question for Doris Lessing? Do you have a lifelong relationship with her work? What does she stand for, to you? Did you cheer when she won the Nobel Prize? Have you ever tried to imagine how your parents’ lives might have been different? We look forward to your thoughts.


Doris Lessing joins us from London. Winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature, she is author of “The Golden Notebook,” published in 1962, and more than 50 other books, including novels, story collections, poetry, science fiction, and nonfiction. Her new book is “Alfred & Emily,” which she has announced will be her last.

More links:

Read an excerpt from “Alfred & Emily” at

Dorris Lessing: A Retrospective offers a good biography and information on her works.

You can read her Nobel Lecture, “On not winning the Nobel Prize,” at You can also watch it on video.

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