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The Grandmothers Paperback – 18 Oct 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; New Ed edition (18 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007152817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007152810
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Lessing's prose is as vigorous in these stories as it has ever been. She has an extraordinary feel not only for landscape but also for the human creature within it.' The Times

'In these four tales Lessing shows her adaptability, and her capacity to unify the most far-flung territories of human experience. Like all great writers, she brings a multitudinous sensibility to bear on individual people, on single rooms, on particular moments – and she makes them live.' Daily Telegraph

‘Doris Lessing has changed the way we think about the world.’ Blake Morrison

‘Thank goodness for Doris Lessing. While the rest of us flounder about noisily in the muddy waters of life, she never fails to expose with startling clarity the essential folly of our dreams and good intentions.’ Kate Chisholm, Evening Standard

‘She’s up there in the pantheon with Balzac and George Eliot. We’re lucky she’s still writing.’ Lisa Appignanesi, Independent

‘She has an extraordinary feeling for the peculiar vulnerabilities of the young and the elderly. And her portraits of human relationships are of quite staggering beauty.’ Ruth Scurr, The Times

About the Author

Doris Lessing is one of the most important writers of the twentieth century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007. Her first novel, 'The Grass is Singing', was published in 1950. Among her other celebrated novels are 'The Golden Notebook', 'The Fifth Child' and 'Memoirs of a Survivor'. She has also published two volumes of her autobiography, 'Under my Skin' and 'Walking in the Shade'. Doris Lessing died on 17 November 2013 at the age of 94.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Four long stories, all exhibiting Lessing's range and creativity and the wonderful sense that she knows completely the background of which she writes. In the first, a family on an extended holiday hides more than at first meets the eye. Erotic love is at the heart of this secret and while I was not quite convinced by the central premise, I was happy to go along with it to see what happened in the end. The second short story warns against the working classes (especially those who are black) getting involved with the insouciant, moneyed middle classes. This is a poignant story, especially when towards the end a working-class mother realises she has lost far more than she has gained. The third story is set either in the far future or the long distant past, or perhaps in a time and on a planet outside our universe. This is the least satisfactory of the stories and doesn't seem to have much of a point, other than that a favourite friend might not prove to be a clever leader.

The final story A Love Child, is the best in my opinion. It begins with boyhood friends but concentrates on events unfolding in the life of one of them, James, a young man who has enlisted and is sent to Cape Town during World War II. The privations suffered by the troops on board the ship that takes them there are harrowing and realistic. Once there James falls in love with the young and beautiful wife of an officer. The time spent there becomes a dream for him and he cannot forget his four days of passion with the beautiful Daphne. However, the troops are sent on to India and he has to leave. We then get a stunningly evoked picture of men waiting to go into battle, the boredom and sickness, the endless tormenting sun of India, etc., Lessing writes her settings seemingly effortlessly and with supreme assuredness.
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Format: Paperback
Was this novella written long ago or a recent output? Dorris Lessing (1919) won the Nobel prize for literature in 2007. This novella was published in 2003. It is a woman's book about two little girls, Lil and Roz, who went to school together when they were small. They have remained close friends ever since and became opposite neighbours in an idyllic US beach resort full of artists. Both have a son.
Lil's adulterous husband kills himself in a road accident, Roz's husband is unhappy with his marriage and moves out. Which leaves two youngish, busy, working mothers with an adolescent son each. What happens next will cause some readers to gasp for breath. What happens between the foursome is not punishable by law, but... No one on their street and in the coastal resort itself suspects anything, but how long can this go on? Longer than one would expect...
Rich novella, which starts with an outburst from an unexpected angle. Challenging novella that cannot possibly end happily. This is one of Lessing's quirkier works within an uneven body of work. Dear readers beware: this novella is offered as a stand-alone offer or as title-holding book with a much larger collection of her stories. Go for the best offer.
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By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
Deserves five stars for the first two novellas in this set of four. The third is too science-fiction for my taste and the fourth is too loosely plotted; but all four are beautifully written, with a spartan style which is all the same vividly descriptive.
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By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 14 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewer that the first two stoies in this collection are excellent, 10/10. But the last two are not of the same standard at all, 4/10 and 6/10 respectively.
Worth borrowing from the library.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the movie Adore more than the story pf the grandmothers even though the movie was based on the book. However the second story was quite lovely and well written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written book of short stories and all totally different. The third story was fascinating and provoked a good discussion at the reading group.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought this book for book club read. Good, well written but realized I don't really like short stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Three of the four stories were wonderfully written. I found one inaccessible.
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