Nobel Literature Prize Goes To Doris Lessing

October 11, 2007

From CNN:
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP)Doris Lessing, author of dozens of works from short stories to science fiction, including the classic “The Golden Notebook,” won the Nobel Prize for literature Thursday. The judges praised her “skepticism, fire and visionary power.”

The Swedish academy’s announcement was stunning even by the standards of Nobel judges, who have been known for such surprises as Austria’s Elfriede Jelinek and Italy’s Dario Fo.

Lessing, less than two weeks short of her 88th birthday, is the oldest choice ever for a prize that usually goes to authors in their 50s and 60s. Although she is widely celebrated for “The Golden Notebook” and other works, she has received little attention in recent years and has been criticized as strident and eccentric.

Swedish Academy Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl was not able to reach Lessing before announcing the prize in Stockholm, but reporters waiting outside her brick rowhouse in North London told her she had won as she pulled up in a black cab, two hours later.

“I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I’m delighted to win them all,” said Lessing, whose previous honors include the James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize and the W.H. Smith Literary Award. “It’s a royal flush.”

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