I Hope To Be This Cool When I’m 87
In 2007, when Doris Lessing was 87, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
She was the 11th woman (and the oldest person) to win the literature prize. If you don’t know Lessing’s story, it’s pretty amazing. She was born in Persia (now Iraq) and raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She never finished high school and basically taught herself through a passion of reading.
She’s written dozens of novels, including my current read, The Golden Notebook, as well as nonfiction, plays, and two autobiographies. The Swedish Academy that announces the award had this to say about The Golden Notebook, regarded as her premiere work: “The burgeoning feminist movement saw it as a pioneering work, and it belongs to the handful of books that informed the 20th-century view of the male-female relationship.”
A video crew captured Lessing on camera when she was informed that she won the Nobel Prize. Her reaction is priceless and unswayed by the man (maybe her son?) next to her who appears to be fond of carrying around artichokes.
I can only hope to be as cool as this woman when I’m 87 years old. She’s 94 now and, I can only presume, even cooler.