Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949
Doris LessingISBN: 0060926643;
"What is better than a really good biography? Not many novels," says Lessing in her first chapter of what is destined to be one of the best autobiographies of our time. Although Lessing has incorporated her life into nearly all of her novels, most notably the Martha Quest series, and has published some short autobiographical sketches, this is her first full-length autobiography, with a second volume projected to cover 1950 onward. From her childhood in the wilds of what was then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) through her young married life in Salisbury to her Communist years during World War II, Lessing is able both to capture the immediacy of her youthful feelings and to comment on her past self with both compassion and the distance that maturity brings. This is a wonderfully vivid memoir that reveals the origins of a remarkable writer. It also gives the reader a direct connection to the physical and emotional experiences of childhood and youth that are universal and timeless. For...