Doris May Tayler was born at Kermanshah, Persia (now Iran) on this day in 1919. The family moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1925 to grow maize (sweet corn). She went to the Dominican Convent High School at Salisbury (now Harare) through age 14, then worked as a nursemaid and telephone operator before her first marriage.

She was involved in leftist politics, her opposition to apartheid and nuclear arms led to her being banned from both Rhodesia and South Africa. Leaving her second husband (Lessing), she decamped for London and the start of her writing career in 1949. She wrote seventeen novels, a five-volume science fiction series, four books about cats, and quite a bit more. She has received all of the European awards for writing, including the 1007 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is terrible to destroy a person’s picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.

All one’s life as a young woman one is on show, a focus of attention, people notice you. You set yourself up to be noticed and admired. And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It’s a positive thing. You can move about unnoticed and invisible.

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

As you get older, you don’t get wiser. You get irritable.

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2 thoughts on “Quotes

  1. bc says:

    I loved that one, too! It’s one of the better benefits of getting old. That, and not giving a shit about a lot of things that bothered me a lot when I was young.


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