This site was created as part of the first international conference in 10 years on Doris Lessing’s life and work, held at Plymouth University on 12/13th September 2014.

Following a tremendously rich and enjoyable two days, a book that draws on work initiated during the conference – Doris Lessing and the Forming of History – is now published by Edinburgh University Press, co-edited by the conference organizers (Kevin Brazil, David Sergeant, Tom Sperlinger).

This site will continue to exist as a Doris Lessing resource: see the blog for a cornucopia of Lessing related delights!




“The breadth and freshness of these essays, introduced by the co-editors’ fine overview of Doris Lessing’s expressions of historical change through literary forms, reinforces the author’s undiminished appeal to contemporary scholars and readers. Exploring formal elements of Lessing’s work—characterization, humour, readership, and film and dream analogues—along with politics and history, human evolution, climate change, and time travel, these essays are timely, ambitious, and intellectually engaging.”

– Roberta Rubenstein, American University



1. Early Lessing, Commitment, the World, Adam Guy
2. ‘I’m an adolescent. And that’s how I’m going to stay’: Lessing and Youth Culture 1956-1962, Nick Bentley
3. Sequence, Series, and Character in Children of Violence, Kevin Brazil
4. The Politics of Form: The Golden Notebook and Women’s Radical Literary Tradition, Rowena Kennedy-Epstein
5. Readers of Fiction and Readers in Fiction: Readership and The Golden Notebook, Sophia Barnes
6. From The Grass is Singing to The Golden Notebook: Film, Literature, and Psychoanalysis, Laura Marcus
7. ‘A funny thing laughter, what’s it for?’: Humour and Form in Lessing’s Fiction, Cornelius Collins
8. Lessing and the Scale of Environmental Crisis, David Sergeant
9. Lessing and Time Travel, David Punter
10. Lessing’s Interruptions, Tom Sperlinger
11. Lessing’s Witness Literature, Elizabeth Maslen
12. A Catastrophic Universe: Lessing, Posthumanism, and Deep History, Clare Hanson
Select Bibliography.


Site header, photo credits: Francesco Guidicini, Chris Saunders, Ingrid Von Kruseuse

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