When reporters outside her house told Doris Lessing that she’d won the Nobel Prize for literature, her response was: “Oh Christ!….I couldn’t care less.”
What a fabulous woman. At 88, Doris Lessing is working on a novel about her parents and World War I. She is utterly straight-forward, cranky, brilliant, restless, and unrepentant. I fucking love her.
Doris Lessing left school at 14, and stopped going to church when she learned about the Inquisition. Whenever I think of Doris Lessing, I think of R. D. Laing, who lived with her for a while in North London, just blocks from where I landed as a fifteen year old expatriate from California.
If you haven’t read any R.D. Laing, now is a good time to start. He was a radical psychiatrist who questioned the definition of sanity and ran a place called Kingsley Hall, where staff and patients traded roles.