Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Grass is Singing, by Doris Lessing

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the grass is singingUnlike the books of other Southern African authors of world class stature, Breyten Breytenbach, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Alan Paton or André P. Brink, that I have read and re-read, the only book by Doris Lessing I have read is The Grass Is Singing. And I read it only once. I mostly liked it because of the title and the use of nature as an antagonistic character and a source of conflict – the sweltering heat, the need and waiting for rain. The phenomenon of grass “singing” in the heat is typical of the Sub-Saharan region and something perhaps only someone born there can truly understand. It’s not only something you hear, it’s something you can feel on your skin, and taste. It gets in your head. She quotes a highly evocative section of TS Eliot’s “Wasteland” on the dedication page, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel. (Continue reading…)

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