Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Book & Nobel

Arrived today: the first copy of Island Universe; beautiful, especially the cover painting. More copies will follow. Two hours it took to get my eyes off of it. A new book is like a new baby.

News I loved: Doris Lessing wins the Nobel Prize. On TV she said of her youthful self, "Nothing could stop me. . . ." For 25 years I have admired her writing, and her shamelessness -- now copied by everybody, and not unusual, but there was a time when a woman writer should have felt ashamed. She changed that. This past year read the five Martha Quest novels in order: Martha Quest, A Proper Marriage, A Ripple from the Storm, Landlocked, and The Four-Gated City. (Ordered used copies; A Ripple was especially hard to get -- the Washington University Library *didn't have* the middle three novels; now there's a real occasion for shame!) Then The Golden Notebook. Martha's apartments, her political meetings, her nights of drinking and dancing, her jobs and quandaries were all enthrallingly real. The NYTBR tells me Jonathan so-and-so and Don whatsis are the great writers, & I just have to smile.

I want to be like Doris Lessing and publish a new book every two years until I'm 87. She would say I should have done that all along.

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