Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949 -1962: Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949-62

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9780002558617: Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of  My Autobiography, 1949 -1962: Volume Two of My Autobiography, 1949-62

Doris Lessing’s long-awaited follow-up to the first part of her autobiography, the hugely successful Under My Skin.

In Walking in the Shade we move into the dazzling heyday of Lessing’s career, sparked off by the international success of her first novel, The Grass is Singing, in 1950.

A wonderful evocation of London’s literary and political life during the 1950s and 1960s. Doris Lessing was at the very centre of the intellectual scene at that time and knew many of its personalities and opinion-makers – Kenneth Tynan, John Osborne, E.P. Thompson, Bertrand Russell and others.

Perhaps the most open and frank books Lessing has ever written. She writes about her love affairs, her depression at the ending of an important relationship and her experience of bringing up a child on her own.

Doris Lessing describes the genesis of her novel, The Golden Notebook – perhaps her greatest work, certainly her most popular – in great detail.

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Review:

From the reviews of Under My Skin:

‘Immediate, vivid, beautifully paced. By putting her life on the page, she has created her greatest work of art.’
Hilary Mantel, London Review of Books

‘Passionate and compelling, a book so packed with extraordinary images that it has obliterated almost everything else I read in 1994.’
Rose Tremain

From the Back Cover:

She has been called 'a national treasure'; she has packed audiences choking with laughter wherever she has travelled with her one-woman shows. Now Dorothy Paul takes to the page with the story of her childhood in Dennistoun, her working life from the days with Kraft Cheese to the triumph of 'The Steamie' – 'She's tough and sexy – a tenement goddess with a tongue that could shift rust' – her marriage and her roller-coaster stage career.

Her nostalgia is sharply observed and never sentimental. As a reviewer of her show remarked, 'What she sends up, she never puts down.' The vivid characters familiar from her shows – ingenious father, long-suffering mother, the tribe of aunts and at least two criminal teachers – are joined here by Variety stars and a galaxy of actors, so that the book is not only a history of Dorothy Paul but also a chapter in the history of the Scottish stage, and of the early days of STV.

There's much humour in the book, of course; but there is also reflection on the sources of that humour: a life in the footlights but also in the shadows. Dorothy Paul presents a selection of the many parts she has played, on stage and off; her story is touching, revealing and, ultimately, a celebration.

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Lessing, Doris
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