Next Up: The Golden Notebook
So there’s a woman who writes in four different notebooks covering four different periods of her life. Each of the notebooks has a different color.
But then there’s a fifth notebook. It’s golden. And in the fifth, golden notebook, this woman, Anna, attempts to tie together all of those periods of her life, as recorded in the other four notebooks.
That’s The Golden Notebook.
The story involves themes of Stalinism, The Cold War, feminism, and the spread of nuclear weapons. Sounds like another light read!
Here are a few facts about The Golden Notebook and its author, Doris Lessing:
- Published in 1962, The Golden Notebook was Doris Lessing’s third of nearly 20 novels.
- In The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Margaret Drabble labeled the novel as “inner space fiction”—a realm that deals with mental and societal breakdown.
- In 2007, Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature at the age of 87, making her the oldest winner of the literature prize and the third oldest Nobel winner in any category.
- Lessing, 93, was born in Iraq (then known as Persia) and currently lives in London. (Hooray for authors on the Time list who are still alive!)
- Lessing has said that The Golden Notebook is about much more than feminism, even playing down that theme. In 1970, she said “I’ve got the feeling that the sex war is not the most important war going on, nor is it the most vital problem in our lives.”
- The University of Texas is home to the largest literary archive of Doris Lessing’s work (the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center).
This is a long novel. It might take me a while.
Wish me luck. And, please someone, tell me it’s good. I can’t handle a 600 page stinker.