- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (September 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061673749
- ISBN-13: 978-0061673740
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 148 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Grass Is Singing: A Novel
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"An extremely mature psychological study. [The Grass is Singing] is full of touches of truth seldom mentioned but instantly recognized. By any standards, this book shows remarkable powers and imagination". -- New Statesman
"Emotional unity and force ... one of her best works."-- "New York Review of Books""Her impressive first novel is told with all the intensity and passion Miss Lessing compacts into all her work." -- "St. Louis Post-Dispatch""An extremely mature psychological study. ["The Grass Is Singing"] is full of touches of truth seldom mentioned but instantly recognized. By any standards, this, book shows remarkable powers and imagination." -- "New Statesman""There is passion here, a piercing accuracy a rare sensitivity and power. . . . One can only marvel."-- "New York Times"
From the Back Cover
Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm work their slow poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic and virile black servant, Moses. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses -- master and slave -- are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion. Their psychic tension explodes in an electrifying scene that ends this disturbing tale of racial strife in colonial South Africa.
The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.
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Top customer reviews
However, I am now curious about Lessing's other books and will go back to her.
Perhaps Lessing, at the time of writing this book in the period just following the war thought that the psychological entrails of behaviour not useful to explore but rather that the situation in the time of the situation IS the focus. Or, it could be a point Lessing is making; that the sexuality of women is a plaything of men and that women do not have a sexual identity.
However, the novel is a story of the descent into madness of Mary and her sad and unanchored husband and their lonely relationship over fifteen years on their unsuccessful farm in the veldt. Their home – not much more than a shack - is small and hot and a statement of their poverty yet their sense of dignity as white people in of the period. The only other human contact on a daily basis is with the Africans who are the farm workers and house servants and yet the extent that there isn’t any shared humanity by the whites for the Africans is at the core of the book and the descent into insanity of the two white people. It is all achingly intransigent.
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