The Memoirs of a Survivor

The Memoirs of a Survivor

Doris Lessing

A compelling vision of a disorienting and barbaric future from Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Many years in the future, city life has broken down, communications have failed and food supplies are dwindling. From her window a middle-aged woman – our narrator – watches things fall apart and records what she witnesses: hordes of people migrating to the countryside, gangs of children roaming the streets. One day, a young girl, Emily, is brought to her house by a stranger and left in her care. A strange, precocious adolescent, drawn to the tribal streetlife and its barbaric rituals, she is unafraid of the harsh world outside, while our narrator retreats into her hidden world where reality fades and the past is revisited …

Reviews of The Memoirs of a Survivor

    • ‘Original and astonishing … Brilliant persuasive and circumstantial in its imagination, so that each step towards barbarism seems completely necessary.’ New Statesman
    • ‘For some years and books now [we] have been reading Doris Lessing to find out what’s going on – what is happening to our society’s nervous system and how it affects the way we live with each other … She is one of those acute emotional intelligences whose stories provide keys to our personal dilemmas.’ Guardian
    • ‘An extraordinary and compelling meditation about the enduring need for loyalty, love and responsibility in an unprecedented time.’ Time

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