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Love Again Paperback – Apr 1997

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060927968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060927967
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,966,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007, is one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of recent decades. A Companion of Honour and a Companion of Literature, she has been awarded the David Cohen Memorial Prize for British Literature, Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize, the International Catalunya Award and the S. T. Dupont Golden PEN Award for a
Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature, as well as a host of other international awards.
Doris Lessing died on 17 November 2013.

Product Description

Review

'”Love, Again” grips, maddens, depresses and excites the reader from the first page to the last. A. S. Byatt, The Times

'A grand novel, boldly hewn … An encounter with a magnificent mind and temperament in artistic maturity, capable of turning her equal gaze on George Eliot.’ Independent on Sunday

'I have never seen love's effects and depredations described in more minute detail … a wholly compelling book, as vigorous and thought-provoking as anything she has ever written.' New Statesman

'By restoring love to the centre of the novel, Lessing has written a book that readers will love; a novel that Stendhal and Colette would have been proud to have written.' Scotsman

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'Love, Again' is the story of Sarah Durham, a sixty-year-old producer and founder of a leading fringe theatre, who commissions a play based on the journals of Julie Vairon, a beautiful and wayward nineteenth-century mulatto woman. The play captivates all who come into contact with it, and dramatically changes the lives of all who take part in it. For Sarah, the change is profound – she falls in love with two younger men, one after the other, causing her to relive her own stages of growing up, from immature and infantile love (the beautiful and androgynous Bill) to the mature love, Henry.

'Love, Again' is a fierce and compelling examination of the nature and origins of love, of its remorseless ability to overwhelm and surprise us.

"This is a grand novel, boldly hewn, more literary than it declares, and yielding the occasional swooning glimpse of beauty. An encounter with a magnificent mind and temperament in artistic maturity, capable of turning her equal gaze on George Eliot"
CANDIA MACWILLIAM, 'Independent on Sunday'

"Lessing's mixture of passionate involvement and the capacity to stand back and take a long look at what was going on, or will go on, is unlike that of any novelist writing now, except perhaps Saul Bellow, and the late Anthony Burgess. 'Love, Again' grips, maddens, depresses and excites the reader from the first page to the last"
A.S.BYATT, 'The Times'

"If the nineteenth-century novel played down sex and elevated a love that could not confess its nature, and if the twentieth century has reversed this, then Lessing here achieves the great synthesis. By restoring love to the centre of the novel, Lessing has written a book that readers will love; a novel that Stendhal and Colette would have been proud to have written"
ALLAN MASSIE, 'Scotsman'

"A marvellously absorbing novel"
KATE KELLAWAY, 'Observer'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
A thought-provoking novel about love, and about the theatre. Lessing's protagonist is Sarah, a widow in her 60s who for years has invested most of her energies in her small theatre company. The company have decided to put on a play about a French-Creole 19th-century musician called Julie Vairon - a free-thinker, who mysteriously died (probably committing suicide) in her thirties in southern France. In the process of getting the play to performance, Sarah experiences love in various forms. Firstly, she watches one of the play's sponsors, an unhappy middle-aged man named Stephen, fall in love with the long-dead Julie Vairon. And later, when the play is in rehearsal, Sarah herself begins to experience feelings uncomfortably like love, first for one of the dashing young actors, and later, and more deeply, for Henry, the director. Meanwhile another of the actors in the group begins to make amorous advances to Sarah...

Lessing beautifully captures the experience of being in love (or in lust) and writes very interestingly on why Sarah may have avoided these emotions for so long. Her descriptions of the world of the theatre are brilliant, and the story of Julie Vairon (invented by Lessing) is fascinating, and very believable. If I had to criticize the book, it would be for the scenes dealing with the fantasist Stephen: I never quite believed in his passion for a long-dead woman, and Lessing seemed unable to make up her mind whether Stephen's wife was really a lesbian, or had simply turned to lesbianism in frustration at her husband! Also, Sarah's feelings for the young actor in her company (who appeared a spoiled brat) were less convincing than her feelings for Henry. But I'd still give the novel five stars - such excellent writing doesn't come round that often.
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Format: Paperback
I have read most of Doris Lessings books, and they have always meant a lot to me. She writes with an honesty that I have only found in a few other authors. (Axel Sandemose is another).I read "Marta Quest" in my teens, and it helped me understand a lot of things. Now I read "Love, again" book as a middle-aged woman, and I got the same feeling of having learned something about myself, and of not being alone. It is an unusual book about love. It is not only about relationships but about the feeling of love itself.
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Format: Paperback
Listening to another's love agonies can be as boring and tiresome as listening to their dreams, and an entire book dedicated to characters dying - literally, in one case - and swooning left right and centre with unrequited love, is really too much. This is not the Doris Lessing of The Grass is Singing; but there are flashes of her, as she describes the reluctantly ageing Sarah and her luvvie theatre friends, all in the throes of a rather precious and frantic search for love. There are problems with families as well as partners, and Sarah eventually traces her own compulsive hunger for love and fulfilment back to her childhood.

The book probably deserves a far greater study than I was prepared to give it and would possibly then yield more rewards. It's readable, yes, but though I sometimes found the self indulgence and navel gazing irritating, how could I argue with passages such as: "Sarah...had been thinking, far too often, I shall never again hold a young man's body in my arms. Never. And it had seemed to her the most terrible sentence Time could deal her."
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