Critical Mass

Critical Library: Doris Lessing

By Eric Banks

Each week, the National Book Critics Circle will post a list of five books a critic believes reviewers should have in their libraries. We recently heard from recent Nobel Prize winner (and former NBCC finalist) Doris Lessing, whose most recent book of criticism was “Time Bites.” She very kindly provided us with five titles. Here are the books she named:

The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Anna Karenin, by Leo Tolstoy

Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding

Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust

Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Doris Lessing is one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of the second half of the twentieth century. Her most recent books include “The Cleft” and “The Story of General Dann and Mara’s Daughter Griot and the Snow Dog,” the two volumes of autobiography, “Under My Skin” and “Walking in the Shade,” and the anthology of articles and reviews, “Time Bites.” A Companion of Honour and a Companion of Literature, she has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize. She lives in North London.