5 Pages


WithLinda E. Chown

After novels of intense intimacy and open form, both writers have been working at consolidating, it seems, the dark sense discoverings of Memoirs and The Back Room. Doris Lessing, whose Memoirs remains to date distressingly underappreciated, has experimented, on the one hand, with degrees of narrative control and authenticity, with her relations to authority. Martin Gaite records Sorpresa’s moral authority, founded in imagination, and does so with her mouth open, as it were, at the potential power a person is born with, and has a life to learn to manage. In recognitions forming part of a trend toward unseating the stalled anti-hero, the best of Lessing and Martin Gaite validates and verifies the enormous potential of that human capacity-power within.