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Lessing wins Nobel Prize
Henry Makiwa
, SW Radio Africa
October 11, 2007

Author Doris Lessing on Thursday won the Nobel Literature Prize for her epic literary works that cover feminism, politics and her youth in Zimbabwe.

Lessing blazed the trail with her first novel, "The Grass is Singing" in 1950, chronicling the relationship between a white farmer's wife and her black servant. In her earliest work she drew upon her childhood experiences in colonial Rhodesia to write about the clash of white and African cultures and racial injustice. She criticized the white colonialists for a sterile culture and for dispossessing native black citizens

Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said Lessing possessed "a fire and visionary power that has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny." The award comes with a US $1.6 million prize.

A winner of numerous accolades, Lessing described the latest award as a "royal flush" when asked by journalist on Thursday.

Her work has covered a multitude of topics and over the years she has frequently been mentioned as a possible Nobel laureate, but she was not seen as among the frontrunners this year.

"The Golden Notebook", her best known work, established her as a feminist icon back in 1962, but she has consistently refused the label and says her writing does not play a directly political role.

Born Doris May Taylor in Khermanshah, in what is now Iran, on October 22, 1919, Lessing spent her formative years on a farm in Southern Rhodesia, where her British parents moved in 1925.

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