I just finished reading a New York Times review of Doris Lessing’s new novel/memoir (strange combo). The review focused on the author’s struggle for emotional control of memory. Lessing apparently hated her mother and saw both parents as tragic figures. In this book she tries, without total success, apparently, to understand and forgive both parents.

I don’t feel particularly inclined to read this memoir (one purpose of reviews is to help us know how to allocate precious time), but I was greatly inspired by one fact. Doris Lessing published this book at the age of 88! I have 28 years to go before I reach that lofty height, so I shall just view my first 60 years as a protracted writing adolescence.

Shirley Showalter


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