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The Golden Notebook Paperback – April, 1994
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A feminist landmark, this big, ambitious novel tells the story of writer Anna Wulf and the crises she faces in her personal, political and professional life. Confounded by writer's block, the ferociously independent Wulf explores her situation in four notebooks, one for each of the strands in her life; the golden one is the one in which, struggling to retain her sanity, she brings these strands together.
"A work of high seriousness...The most absorbing and exciting piece of new fiction I have read in a decade; it moves with the beat of our time, and it is true." -- Irving Howe, The New Republica
"England's brilliant Doris Lessing looks deeply into the problem of a sensitive and disillusioned modern woman...It is a rewarding book, and an unusually perceptive one." -- Milwaukee Journal
"No ordinary work of fiction...the technique, in a world, is brilliant, and places Doris Lessing in the forefront of British novelists." -- Saturday Review
"This exciting writer has tried much, aimed high, and has paraded a galaxy of gifts." -- Baltimore Sun
Novel by Doris Lessing, published in 1962. The novel presents the crisis of a woman novelist, Anna Wulf, suffering from writer's block. Immensely self-analytical, she seeks to probe her disorderly life by keeping four notebooks: a black one covering her early years in British colonial Africa; a red one about her years as a communist; a yellow one with the fictional story of her alter ego, Ella; and a blue one with her diary. Excerpts from these notebooks mingle with excerpts from an ostensibly fictional work, "Free Women," which features a character named Anna Wulf. As the separate lines of plot development progress toward resolution, the novelist integrates her fragmented experiences and unifies the separate threads of her writing into a single golden notebook. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
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The novel has often been touted as a seminal piece in the feminist movement, foreshadowing its basic tenets. But Lessing insisted in a preface for a later edition that she was more concerned about the fragmentation in the heroine's psyche. This was, in fact, what I picked up from my reading of the novel. More than 50 years later, the women's insistence on their being free sounded like old hat to me.
This book looks at women in the 50s. I guess some of it is dated, but the concerns really haven't changed all that much.
Read it to find out what a writer who has felt all the feelings, experienced so much, has to say about the world of women
MUST READ FOR BOTH SEXES!