Doris May Lessing CH was a British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.
In awarding the Prize the Swedish Academy described her as "that epeeist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny". Doris Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
An impressive and prolific author, Lessing has received acclaim for her books including The Golden Notebook, Memoirs of a Survivor and The Summer Before the Dark. The Swedish Academy said the Golden Notebook was seen as "a pioneering work" that "belongs to the handful of books that informed the 20th Century view of the male-female relationship".
In 2001, Lessing was awarded the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in British literature. In 2008, The Times ranked her fifth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".