Buy Used
£2.27
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Grass Is Singing Paperback – 15 Apr 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

See all 41 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 15 Apr 2002
£1.97 £0.01
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin; Re-issue edition (15 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586089241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586089248
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 457,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Original and striking…full of those terrifying touches of truth, seldom mentioned but instantly recognised.’ New Statesman

‘Doris Lessing responds more passionately than most writers to people or situations: often she responds with hate or rancour, but always with passion. In “The Grass is Singing”, you can feel the dynamo-like throb of a formidable talent; by its side, most novels of 1950 look like crochet-work.’ The Times

‘“The Grass is Singing” focuses on the blighted life of a woman whose spirit is destroyed by a disastrous marriage and by an environment to which she couldn’t respond. More than any other white African writer of her generation, Doris Lessing is aware of the seductive cruelty of colonialism, and is one of our strongest, fiercest voices against injustice, racism and sexual hypocrisy.’ Independent on Sunday

From the Back Cover

Doris Lessing brought the manuscript of 'The Grass is Singing', her classic first novel, with her when she left Southern Rhodesia and came to England in 1950. When it was first published it created an impact whose reverberations we are still feeling, and immediately established itself as a landmark in twentieth-century literature.

Set in Rhodesia, it tells the story of Dick Turner, a failed white farmer and his wife, Mary, a town girl who hates the bush. Trapped by poverty, sapped by the heat of their tiny brick and iron house, Mary, lonely and frightened, turns to Moses, the black cook, for kindness and understanding.

A masterpiece of realism, 'The Grass is Singing' is a superb evocation of Africa's majestic beauty, an intense psychological portrait of lives in confusion and, most of all, a passionate explanation of the ideology of white supremacy.

"Original and striking… full of those terrifying touches of truth, seldom mentioned but instantly recognised."
NEW STATESMAN

"Doris Lessing responds more passionately than most writers to people or situations: often she responds with hate or rancour, but always with passion. In 'The Grass is Singing', you can feel the dynamo-like throb of a formidable talent: by its side, most novels of 1950 looked like crochet-work."
THE TIMES

"' The Grass is Singing' focuses on the blighted life of a woman whose spirit is destroyed by a disastrous marriage and by an environment to which she couldn't respond. More than any other white African writer of her generation, Doris Lessing is aware of the seductive cruelty of colonialism and is one of our strongest, fiercest voices against injustice, racism and sexual hypocrisy."
FIAMMETTA ROCCO, ' Independent on Sunday'

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Doris Lessing's "The Grass is Singing" opens with the death of Mary Turner. How could Mary's life have ended with such a tragic fate? As the reader progresses through the novel, he discovers Mary's insufferable existence, her life destroyed by a disastrous marriage to a farmer, Dick Turner. Mary is forced to live in a rural environment in South Africa for which she is ill-suited. Furthermore, Mary's relationship with her husband rapidly deteriorates as she realises that Dick is unable to manage the farm successfully and they are constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. A truly superb novel, tragic and moving to the very last line. Mrs Lessing's wonderfully captures Africa's majestic beauty, the difficult relationship between the whites and the Natives. The psychological portrait of her heroine is exceptionally intense.
1 Comment 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
From the opening pages this novel grabs and holds your interest - much like the opening pages of 'Enduring Love' (Ian McEwan).You are told the end at the beginning. Later the book takes you through the steps leading to the awful conclusion. The tension is held superbly right through the novel, added to this the descriptions of the sunbaked, barely fertile ground, on the poor white farm and the relationship of the couple who own it to each other and their black native servants are graphically very strong. The relentless heat intensity is truly unbearable. All this set in the rigid insular white farming society of 1950's Rhodesia. Chosen by our Book Club - I will certainly be reading more Doris Lessing.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A almost uncomfortably raw story of the inevitable tragic and shocking consequences when Mary is taken from small town Rhodesia in the late 1940s to live on a remote farm with a husband she despises. Alone all day listening to the screaming of the cicadas, feeling the sun baking her through the tin roof, enduring stultifying aloneness and ground down by the fight against poverty, Mary is trapped and helpless. For the first time she encounters the black work force and their close proximity has a profound effect on her sensibilities.

The house servant Moses in particular exerts a powerful influence over her as her mind begins to disintegrate in the claustrophobic atmosphere. Past a certain point their developing, unwholesome relationship is left to our imaginations; but it consists more of mutual fascinated loathing than love.

Published in 1950, this is Doris Lessing's first novel. It took until 2007 for her to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Brought up in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), she witnessed at first hand the racial tensions and entrenched attitudes of the era she depicts.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Doris Lessing doesn't disappoint in this tale of the inner turmoil and eventual breakdown of a woman living out her lonely and frustrating marriage to a farmer in the wilds of the African veldt. Lessing's ability to use language and punctuation to great effect to paint dramatic pictures of her surroundings and the inner feelings of the main character bring colour and deeper meaning to this often bleak tale. Characterisation is superb, bringing each of the players vividly to life. It brought fascinating and powerful insight into the whole issue of apartheid, which makes shocking reading particularly in the age that we now live in.Lessing does not hold back in her descriptions of the treatment meted out to native slaves by their white masters. This was a book choosen to be read by my local Book Club, and it provoked long and passionate debate at our recent meeting to discuss it. It's not a 'fun read', but it is certainly a riveting one. Highly recommended.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Grass Is Singing was my first Doris Lessing novel, and I loved it!
As you could have already read the synospsis, in this book Lessing tells the story of a farmer husband, Dick Turner, and his wife Mary, their life and struggles on their farm in South Africa, while portraying the fragile and unstable state of the balance of forces between the whites and the blacks.

During the first 2 chapters I was a bit surprised and not sure if I would enjoy it (her realistic racist description shocked me), but wow, her evocative and yet simple descriptions of the African landscape, the scorching hot and the reality of the farms and sweaty hard work were very realistic and made me feel as if I was seeing it. And her storytelling! it was so painful and saddening to read the story of these 2(-3) people, who are so different and wanted so different things from life and witness as their differences and inability to understand each other (and their lack of ability to communicate) ruin their lives. Beautiful and very powerful book, it was a wonderful read, I will definitely read more by her. Someone once told me that if I read only one Lessing novel in my life, I should read The Grass Is Singing, and having read it, I can definitely second that opinion, this novel is one you definitely have to read.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I chanced upon this books a while back and since I had heard of Doris Lessing because of her Nobel prize, I thought I would start knowing her through her first novel.

This is a wonderfully insightful book, showing how Lessing is a fine observer not only of racial problems but of human relations in general and the situation of white female colonists in an unwelcoming Southern Rhodesia in the 40s.

The main character is Mary Turner, a single woman who lives in one of Rhodesia's cities and then ends up marrying a farmer, Dick Turner, and moving with him to his farm.

She does not fit well in that scenery, she does not feel at ease in the relationship either, because she had married mostly because she had heard gossip about her being a spinster.
the book is a tragic one and the heroine's fate is one of depression, alienation and ultimately, death, but the value of this book resides not in its upbeat, easy to ingest nature (because it is none of those). The book is valuable because it allows you to expand your own horizons if feelings, empathizing with the heroine and with her husband, Dick as well.

It is a novel of colonialism, of the people who left their roots to look for fortune and who seldom managed to fulfill their dreams, it is a novel about those people's children, equally out of place.

One reviewer gave it a very low rating because she said the title had nothing to do with the book. I think that shows her lack of imagination. She said that nothing was singing in the book.

Singing, I must tell that person, is not necessarily cheerful. Also, the grass was singing, Mary's only moments of relief and of peace where when she listened to the veld of South Africa and felt a connection with nature.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback