British 87-year-old woman wins Nobel Prize for Literature

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  • British author, Doris Lessing, 87, wins Nobel Prize for literature

    AN 87-YEAR-OLD BRITISH woman yesterday won the Nobel Prize for Literature – but didn’t realise because she was out shopping.

    Doris Lessing became the 11th woman to win the award since it started in 1901 and was honoured with the £763,000 prize for her 57-year career.

    Her best-known works include The Golden Notebook, Memoirs of a Survivor and The Summer Before the Dark.

    Shortly after the announcement, her agent, Jonathan Clowes, told the Daily Mail: ‘We are absolutely delighted because it is so well deserved. She doesn’t know yet. She’s out shopping and we are trying to get in touch with her before she discovers it in the news.’

    Lessing was eventually informed by reporters as she stepped out of a taxi with her groceries in tow. The feisty writer said: ‘This has been going on for 30 years.

    ‘I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. I’m delighted to win them all, the whole lot. It’s a royal flush.

    ‘People who have never even heard of me will now go out and buy my books. It’s a very nice thing. So now I’m going to earn some money.’

    Lessin was born to British parents in Persia, now Iran, and lived in Zimbabwe, before leaving her husband and two children to come to England at 25.

    She left school at 14 and taught herself to write by reading. Her breakthrough book, The Golden Notebook (1965), was hailed as a pioneering feminist work.

    The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, described Lessing in their citation as ‘that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.’

    Lessing is the second British writer to win in three years, after Harold Pinter was honoured in 2005. Turkish author Orhan Pamuk won last year.

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