The second volume of Doris Lessing's `Collected African Stories', and a classic work from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
`As for these stories - when I write one, it is as if I open a gate into a landscape which is always there. Time has nothing to do with it. A certain kind of pulse starts beating, and I recognise it: it is time I wrote another story from that landscape, external and internal at the same time, which was once the Old Chief's Country.' Doris Lessing, from the Preface
This much-acclaimed collection of stories vividly evokes both the grandeur of Africa and the glare of its sun and the wide open space, as well as the great, irresolvable tensions between whites and blacks. Tales of poor white farmers and their lonely wives, of storm air thick with locusts, of ants and pomegranate trees, black servants and the year of hunger in a native village - all combine to present a powerful image of a continent which seems incorruptible in spite of all the people who plough, mine and plunder it to make their living. In Doris Lessing's own words, `Africa gives you the knowledge that man is a small creature, among other creatures, in a large landscape.'
`Some stories are set in the Twenties, others in the war, others thereafter, but all draw with unhampered directness upon childhood sensation undiminished by distance and memory. With a boundless fecundity and flow, these stories are timeless, as though heat and wilderness took the place of time.' Daily Telegraph
`Doris Lessing can take what appears to be commonplace, mere passing anecdote and turn it deftly until its inner light is released: one feels that she has gazed upon the stories in her mind until that peculiar angle of vision, the angle that pierces obliquely but clean to the heart of a thing, has finally been found.' The Times
Doris Lessing is one of the most important writers of the twentieth century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007. Her first novel, 'The Grass is Singing', was published in 1950. Among her other celebrated novels are 'The Golden Notebook', 'The Fifth Child' and 'Memoirs of a Survivor'. She has also published two volumes of her autobiography, 'Under my Skin' and 'Walking in the Shade'. Doris Lessing died on 17 November 2013 at the age of 94.