Doris Lessing



When I was at university I fell in love with my English professor.

He was teaching The Twentieth Century novel, in particular the novels of D.H. Lawrence.

My classes were in the morning and in the afternoon I would lie on my bed in the dorm and read Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love.

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My room-mates, who were studying the sciences would pass by and ask me what I was doing.

“Studying,” I would say.

In reality I was dreaming of love. Continue reading

Sigrid Undset

Flag of Norway.svgIf you followed the Sochi Olympics you probably know that Norway was overrepresented in so far as winning medals go. They came in third place with 26 medals, 11 gold. Not bad for a country with a population of a little over 5 million people.

But the Norwegians need not only be proud of their athletes but also of their Nobel Laureates for Literature. Three in all. One woman: Sigrid Undset.

Born the same year as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (1882)  Sigrid Undset, at the age of 25,  made her literary debut with a short, realistic novel on adultery. It created a stir, and she found herself ranked as a promising young author in Norway. Its English translation is out this month (March 2014). 

“I have been unfaithful to my husband” is the novel’s opening sentence. Written in diary form the novel documents the inner life of a young woman disappointed by the conventions of marriage and longing for passion. Continue reading


 Some of you may have read Karen’s My Train of Thought’s On…awhile back on her Did You Know? Nobel Prizes Literature post.

If so, you might have noticed that out of 106 Nobel Prizes for Literature 13 have been awarded to women.


Okay. I won’t get into any equality debate. Or the men are better writers than women argument. (Yawn..Oh, sorry). All, I’ll say is have you read Herta Muller?

Her novels are a reflection of her own struggles of living under the repressed dictatorship of Ceausescu’s’ Romanian regime. They are filled with betrayals, rebellion, corruption and forced labor camps. To read any of them is heartbreaking and haunting.

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Recipients of Nobel prizes for literature often, in my opinion, win because of their humanitarian and political stance.

But that is not enough. Their writing must be stellar. Continue reading