Lessing, Doris Mara and Dann

ISBN 13: 9780006550839

Mara and Dann

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9780006550839: Mara and Dann

A visionary novel from Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

It is sooner than you might think. And the Earth’s climate is much changed – it’s colder than ever before in the north, and unbearably dry and hot in the south. Mara, who is seven, and her four-year-old brother Dann find themselves somewhere very strange, not home …

They are taken in by a kindly, grandmotherly woman, but this new life is hard: hunger, dirt, thirst and danger are the children’s constant companions. Drought and fire carry off their adoptive home and force them to set off northward into the unknown, to experience a series of adventures that bring them to an altogether altered world, where they can start to learn and build anew.

Doris Lessing has written a compelling, troubling and entertaining novel that, through the remarkable odyssey of a brother and sister living in the imagined future, manages to tell us a great deal about the present we perceive only dimly and scarcely know how to value.

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Review:

‘I hope everyone reads Mara and Dann and it wins all the prizes.’ Victoria Glendinning, Literary Review

‘An outstanding piece of storytelling… rich and imaginative.’
Helen Dunmore, Daily Mail

‘Fascinating and profoundly curious.’ Rachel Cusk, Daily Express

From the Back Cover:

'We are in Africa, now known as Ifrik. The northern hemisphere has succumbed to a new Ice Age. Two children, Mara and Dann, set forth on an odyssey towards the greener country on the chilly southern edge of the Mediterranean. As in all folk tales based on a journey, they pass through ordeals. They meet huge beetles whose pincers can bisect a child, lizards that can carry off a woman in their jaws, both as adventure story and as ecological fable, displays all the vision of a muscular mind. I hope everyone reads it and it wins all the prizes.'
VICTORIA GLENDINNING, 'Literary Review'

'Part fairy tale, part tract for our time, this is an ambitious, demanding, remarkable book. With 'Mara and Dann', Lessing has created a mythical girl and boy who are also touching and credible. Into Mara, the girl child who finds herself, Lessing pours all her insight into how female nature is shaped. A wise, rich and melancholy book.'
ANNE CHISHOLM, 'Sunday Telegraph'

'Together Mara and Dann trace the patterns of gender and of human love from childhood to sexual maturity. Mara's adventures are female, stories of love, fertility, vulnerability and ultimately empowerment; Dann's are darker tales of temptation and sin. Asserted throughout this gripping narrative is a belief in the indestructibility of love. A fascinating profoundly curious novel.'

'Lessing imagines in extraordinary detail how Mara slowly learns survival – how to dig up yellow roots to make flour, how to milk a half-starved cow, how to avoid the giant insects that flourish as drought and flash floods drive human beings into retreat. The reader is left elated by the epic scope of Lessing's vision of life on earth. She has produced her best book yet.'
MAGGIE Gee, 'Daily Telgraph'

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Lessing, Doris
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