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I never stopped reading.
– Doris Lessing
I’m just a story teller.
What is a hero without love for mankind.
Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.
Time and distance from the first and second world wars doesn’t seem to lessen their horrors.
I am always being described as having views that I’ve never had in my life.
Sometimes I think what I write is funny in its quiet way.
I think a lot of romanticizing has gone on with the women’s movement.
A story is how we construct our experiences.
The thing is, I haven’t changed at all.
Some people obtain fame, others deserve it.
I wasn’t an active feminist in the ’60s, never have been.
All my friends’ mothers were appalling women.
Sentimentality is intolerable because it is false feeling.
When young I did my best to undo that bit of the British Empire I found myself in: that is, old Southern Rhodesia.
I hate Iran. I hate the Iranian government. It’s a cruel and evil government.
When I was bringing up a child, I taught myself to write in very short, concentrated bursts. If I had a weekend, or a week, I’d do unbelievable amounts of work.
For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.
I don’t think in terms of optimism and pessimism when writing a story. I am telling a story.
My father was in the First World War.
My mother was a woman who was very frustrated. She had a great deal of ability, and all this energy went into me and my brother.
I didn’t go to school much, so I taught myself what I knew from reading.
There was a time when young people respected learning and literature and now they don’t.
When I was a girl, the idea that the British Empire could ever end was absolutely inconceivable. And it just disappeared, like all the other empires. You know, when people talk about the British Empire, they always forget that all the European countries had empires.
There is nothing more boring for an intelligent woman than to spend endless amounts of time with small children.
I haven’t got the energy to write now.
The Nobel Prize is run by a self-perpetuated committee. They vote for themselves and get the world’s publishing industry to jump to their tune.
What society doesn’t realize is that in the past, ordinary people respected learning. They respected books, and they don’t now, or not very much. That whole respect for serious literature and learning has disappeared.
What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.
I wanted to highlight that whole dreadful process in book publishing that ‘nothing succeeds like success.’