Lessing Wins Nobel


Doris Lessing has won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. Not everyone is happy, of course. The Associated Press quotes Jabba the Academic, Yale University professor Harold Bloom, denouncing the choice as "pure political correctness." "Although Ms. Lessing at the beginning of her writing career had a few admirable qualities," Bloom said, "I find her work for the past 15 years quite unreadable … fourth-rate science fiction."

As the New York Times described Lessing in 1999, "She has been dubbed an African writer, a Communist writer, a feminist writer, a mystic writer, a psychological writer, now a science fiction writer." (Lessing broke with the party after the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary). So while Bloom might be partially right—there is always a political component to the Nobel choice, of course—credit Lessing for at least being embarrassed by her Red past, unlike previous prize winners Dario Fo, Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter, Gunter Grass, Jose Saramago, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

The Noble Prize announcement here.

The Times on Lessing.