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Martha Quest: A Novel (Perennial Classics) Paperback – January 23, 2001
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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"For sheer poise I don't think there has been a writer to touch her since Jane Austin." -- -- John Wain, Observer
"Stubborn, resilient, wry towards herself, Martha is Doris Lessing's most satisfying and complex characterization. She is a child of her times, of violence, who 'could no more dissociate herself from the violence done by her than a tadpole can live out of water." -- Times (London)
"There are many notable descriptions of adolescent boys and young men in our fiction. There are very few, in the same deep and radical sense, of young women. Mrs. Lessing's study of Martha Quest is one of them." -- New York Times Book Review
"A formidable talent." -- C. P. Snow
"For sheer poise I don't think there has been a writer to touch her since Jane Austin." -- John Wain, Observer
"I read the Children of Violence novels and began to understand how a person could write about the problems of the world in a compelling and beautiful way. And it seemed to me that was the most important thing I could ever do." -- Barbara Kingsolver --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing was one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of our time, the recipient of a host of international awards. She wrote more than thirty books—among them the novels Martha Quest, The Golden Notebook, and The Fifth Child. She died in 2013.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm one of these Lessing fans from back in the day when _The Golden Notebook_ changed my life, and I haven't read much of her other work. I was impressed by Martha Quest-- it falls in the category of our classic coming-of-age novels, and as such stands well on its own as a novel. Lessing's Martha is at times so frustrating you want to shake her, but I think that's typical for the age of the character portrayed. Martha is all sharp edges-- she can't seem to fit with her parents, the men around her, the people with whom she tries to interact. With the blindness of her age, she's able to acutely feel how hard she has it, without really feeling the struggle of others around her who may have an even more difficult time. By turns infuriating and attractive, it can be painful to read Quest's story precisely because so it's so human as to be disturbingly familiar.
A should-read book.
I really enjoyed Martha Quest, the first book in the Children of Violence. But I was deeply moved by A Proper Marriage. Take the bright young things of a Fitzgerald novel, give them sweat, hangovers and physicality and put them in a troubled country on the eve of a World War. If you can imagine that, then you have a little bit of an idea about A Proper Marriage.
There's something so smart and complicated about the way that Lessing develops Martha in this book. Her disaffection with the excesses of the left lead her into a middle class life, even as her sympathies lie elsewhere. Relationships, war, child-bearing and the colour bar are all woven together into a book that somehow manages to bear the weight of the themes while still givng the reader a very human tale.
Lessing is a simply amazing writer. She works with complex ideas and communicates them without simplifying. Her writing is always lovely and human. A Proper Marriage is one of the best examples of her work. I think that it adds richness if you begin with Martha Quest, but the book can stand on its own right.
Recommended both for fans of Lessing's work and people new to her work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this for my book club. Those of us who bothered to finish it pretty much didn't like the book.Published 1 month ago by Damaris Lugo
The very first sentence made me think, "Should I quit now?" But then in the next couple of pages the turgidity settled down and I kept reading, because it was for a book... Read morePublished 2 months ago by A Reader
One of Doris Lessing's easier books. It's a coming of age story somewhat reflecting her own youth. I thought I he ending kind of sudden but gave it 5 stars for her excellent... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Doris Lessing writes so well that her prose is like music, and she has such a natural and easy grasp of the violent emotions that control and betray our better selves. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jiang Xueqin
This is the first of the series Children of Darkness and very well written and insightful.Published 15 months ago by Miz Bee
I already had 3 of the 5 volumes of the "Children of Violence" series. This book is classic Lessing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by geri morgan
Doris Lessing not only show great courage to write about issues that subsequently made her an outcast in her country, but she showed amazing skill at giving different perspectives... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Joan W
Brings one into a world of how a relationship is experienced by those in it and around it. You witness the pull of the environment on options and final choices.Published on June 7, 2014 by Jane A.
This saga of young woman in South Africa, her disastrous marriage and general malaise and floundering about with equally discontent women has some good writing, but not enough to... Read morePublished on April 17, 2014 by Doris Murray Kuhns