Nobel prize-winning author Doris Lessing has died at the age of 94, The Guardian reports.
At 88 years old, she became the oldest author to win the Nobel prize in literature.
Born in Iran, brought up in the African bush in Zimbabwe – where her 1950 first novel, The Grass Is Singing, was set – Lessing had been a London resident for more than half a century. In 2007 she arrived back to West Hampstead, north London, by taxi, carrying heavy bags of shopping, to find the doorstep besieged by reporters and camera crews. “Oh Christ,” she said, on learning that their excitement was because at 88 she had just become the oldest author to win the Nobel prize in literature. Only the 11th woman to win the honour, she had beaten that year’s favourite, the American author Philip Roth.
Pausing rather crossly on her front path, she said “one can get more excited”, and went on to observe that since she had already won all the other prizes in Europe, this was “a royal flush”.
Later she remarked: “I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.”
Lessing is the author of more than 50 novels ranging from political to science fiction.