to Doris Lessing, the new Nobel Laureate for Literature. She came to City a couple of years back when I was doing my MA and generally wiped the floor with everyone (she's just been telling Shaun Ley why she is surprised she got the prize on the basis that 40 years ago the Nobel committee apparently told her they didn't like her stuff and she would never win it. In fact she said they were rather rude...).
We had to read The Grandmothers before she arrived...still one of the most unsettling books I've read.
What I like about Lessing is a) she thinks life gets better as you get older (not an ounce of self pity) and b) she thinks writing is something you struggle and work at. As she once said
"I don't know much about creative writing programmes. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer."
It consoles me every time I rip up another page and start again......
PS Ms Lessing's reaction here to being told