Human Conditions: ‘The Golden Notebook’ by Doris Lessing

Pankaj Mishra and Adam Shatz

Pankaj Mishra joins Adam Shatz to discuss The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing’s formally brilliant and startlingly frank 1962 novel. In her portrait of ‘free women’ – unmarried, creatively ambitious, politically engaged – Lessing wrestles with the breakdown of Stalinism, settler colonialism and traditional gender roles. Pankaj and Adam explore the lived experiences that shaped the novel, its feminist reception and why Pankaj considers it to be one of the best representations of ‘the strange uncapturable sensation of living from day to day’.

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