A Nobel for Zimbabwe?

A Doris Lessing reader approached me yesterday and asked, “I didn’t know Doris Lessing sort of grew up in Zimbabwe.” Not only did I confirm this, but I was also quick to recommend The Grass is Singing as a good book to read. I have always treated Doris Lessing as a Zimbabwean writer, although she left the country in 1949, and was prohibited from rentering it from 1956 to 1995. When it comes to conferring nationality to a writer, sometimes the work of the writer is a deciding factor. Reading The Grass is Singing does it for me – I have read that book just to experience how it captures the savanna terrain, which brings the message closer home.I find myself very ready to claim Lessing as clearly a Zimbabwean writer, and for this reason, I feel that a part of that Nobel has to do with Zimbabwe somehow. Either that, or I just want someone to say something positive about Zimbabwe right now. Congratulations, Doris Lessing!

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