Doris Lessing (1919-2013) was the author of more than 50 novels. Her 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, turned her into a feminist role model. When she won the Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature in 2007, she became the oldest person to ever receive the award. Born in Iran and raised in Zimbabwe, she spent her last half-century in Britain. While living in Britain, she became involved in politics and social issues and actively took part in the campaign against nuclear weapons.
Excerpt from The Golden Notebook
“We spend our lives fighting to get people very slightly more stupid than ourselves to accept truths that the great men have always known. They have known for thousands of years that to lock a sick person into solitary confinement makes him worse. They have known for thousands of years that a poor man who is frightened of his landlord and of the police is a slave. They have known it. We know it. But do the great enlightened mass of the British people know it? No. It is our task, Ella, yours and mine, to tell them. Because the great men are too great to be bothered. They are already discovering how to colonise Venus and to irrigate the moon. That is what is important for our time. You and I are the boulder-pushers. All our lives, you and I, we’ll put all our energies, all our talents into pushing a great boulder up a mountain. The boulder is the truth that the great men know by instinct, and the mountain is the stupidity of mankind.”