In my senior year of high school I took college-level English, and the teacher decided we needed to read some contemporary British authors. People got assigned Tom Stoppard or John Fowles, and I got Doris Lessing. At the time I’d never heard of her, but after reading several of her short stories and her incredibly disturbing first novel The Grass Is Singing I became kind of a fan and kept on reading her work long after I’d left the class. Her story Through The Tunnel (which you can read in its entirety here) is still one of my favorites. It’s about a young boy making an extremely dangerous and daring trip through an underwater tunnel.
When I heard Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007 my first thought was, “Well it’s about bloody time!”
Today, though, there’s something different to celebrate: Doris Lessing turns ninety today. Happy birthday, Ms. Lessing.