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Stories (Vintage International) Kindle Edition

11 customer reviews

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Length: 640 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


“Doris Lessing’s artistry is demonstrated over and over in this generous collection.” –Time“Lessing is the great realist writer of our time.” –Diane Johnson, The New York Times Book Review“[Lessing’s] stock of reliable, solid information about life is enormous; her social range…impressively wide; her interests, human, varied, oddly reassuring.” –Margaret Drabble, Saturday Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

All of Doris Lessing's short fiction other than the stories set in Africa.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1611 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (February 6, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 10, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0037BS2XG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,937 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JR on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Whether describing an actress in love with an angry married man, the simple pleasures of a public park or the London Blitz, this collection of fine, moving pieces always rings true. Both heartbreaking and in places, disturbing, nonetheless, still rewarding reading. Lessing is more famous for the Golden Notebook, but these showcase her broad range and near flawless gift for making characters come to life. The story with the homeless old woman for example will stay with you forever.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I say that Doris Lessing is one of the top published fiction writers still living, you will know to a) take it to the bank, yet b) also go out and get a copy of her stories- preferably her 1980 collection from Vintage Books, simply called Stories, wherein thirty-five of her best tales are housed. Lessing, who was born Doris May Taylor, of British parents, in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919, and grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), is simply one of the best short story writers of the last century. Having recently read the overrated oeuvres of William Trevor and Frank O'Connor, it was a relief to avail myself of the comparatively low-keyed works of Lessing. Of course, she deals with many of the same topics that Trevor, especially (as far more of his tales than O'Connor's are set in England than Ireland), deals with: the bourgeoisie's sloth, the ins and outs of romance, yet she does so in far more daring and experimental forms, even as she does so. And her ear for the upper crust's patois is far more realistic and variegated than Trevor's. Consequently, her tales are more lively and engaging with the characters within. Another area she excels in is with the little details. She understands that `realism' consists not merely of a boring recitation of the diurnal, but a poetic focus on aspects of the real that have been overlooked by most people. Overall, I'd have liked a bit more diversity in her tales, but she has more than most writers, and this helps with the overall quality of her work. Not all her stories succeed, but her body of work is far more `experimental' than that of PoMo poseurs such as David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, or Rick Moody. Still, even as her stories stretch form, they all share a very clinical and calculating eye.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to review a collection of 35 disparate stories, ranging from a few pages to short novellas of up to some 70 pages and covering a multitude of subjects and many different social settings. Except for one or two which are in surrealistic form, they almost all make compelling reading. There is an introduction by Margaret Drabble which traces some of the main themes and the influences on Doris Lessing, and I can only follow her example in my own way.

Many of the stories deal with the complicated and often tormented relationships between men and women (recalling the battle of the sexes, as also seen in The Golden Notebooks) and with what they expect of each other, but do not get. The poignancy when, as in three of the stories, the (middle class) people involved are `in a good marriage', `sensible', `rational', and self-analytical. Several times the note is struck that for a woman the all-absorbing task of running a home for husband and children is a kind of slavery. Hardly any of the stories are happy; many, indeed, are tragic. The most haunting of them work towards an almost unbearably inevitable end. Doris Lessing is always compassionate, and occasionally funny, too. Some stories are about lonely people - some of whom are unhappy in their loneliness, while others - women - see it as a sign of their proud independence.

The setting is often recognizably and evocatively in the decade or so after the end of the Second World War, mostly in London; but in some of them English people (with the restricted travel allowance of the post-war years, which create their own problems and tensions) are shown on holidays abroad. Some stories have a strong social or political background.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roy Clark on January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a lot. I have more books than my local public library (our branch, that is)(most bought from Amazon). In fiction, I read for what is written and how it's written. And LEARN from Actually more on the how than what. Doris Lessing's writings are a treasure, from high drama to nuanced, warm to chilling, she masterful. Her what's and how's mesh wonderfully.

There are 35 short and not-so short stories in this DORIS LESSING STORIES, all readable and reread-able. Frankly, I've read her before, many times; some here I've read before, but reading them again is telling; there are angles and moments which still grab me, even surprise me. Some spawn new feelings, appreciations. Some are dramatic reminders. In 656 pages, which means stories run about 19 pages each. Perfect lengths, methinks.

"Lessing's work: the bedrock realities of marriage and other relationships between men and women; the crisis of the individual whose very psyche is threatened by a society unattained to its own most dangerous qualities; the fate of women" ...So says the back-cover blurb. I agree, it's an apt description. Ms. Lessing is a European writer - London, Paris, the south of France. But her stories still ring true to American culture in our new, challenging Third Millennium. I think I would've somehow worked in sophisticated, subtle and not-so subtle comments too, like mini sagas compleat with insights. All grounded and unpretentious, sans artifice.

So few readers read for insight and information. Most for entertainment, relaxation. Or worse, for passing/killing time. Not-so for Ms. Lessing's writing; she covers what's, why's and how's with a verve that pull page-turners back again and again.

Think I'm in love with a ghost - She passed on
last year.
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