News Release — October 11, 2007
Harry Ransom Center Holds Archive of Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing
The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin holds the archive of Doris Lessing, the recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature.
"We are delighted that Doris Lessing's remarkable contributions to our culture have been recognized by the Nobel Committee, and we are proud to be the home of the archive of a long recognized, major international writer," said Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center. "The living record of Lessing's literary legacy is available at the Ransom Center. Students and scholars of future generations can come here to trace the creative process of our newest Nobel Laureate."
Lessing's work is characterized by shrewd social observation and critique. Born in 1919, Lessing is often considered a stateswoman of modern literature, political experience and feminism. Her childhood experiences in Africa provide the background for a number of novellas and stories decrying colonialism, while the publication of "The Golden Notebook" (1962) assured Lessing an integral place in the history of feminist literature.
Acquired in 1999, Lessing's archive includes typescripts, manuscripts, galley proofs and holographs for several of Lessing's major works, such as "Briefing for a Descent into Hell" (1971), "The Good Terrorist" (1985) and "Mara and Dann" (1999). The archive also contains rare typescripts for 14 of Lessing's early short stories, one written from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1940s.
The 45 archival boxes of Lessing's materials at the Ransom Center represent nearly all of her extant manuscripts and typescripts through 1999. Original material for Lessing's early books is assumed not to exist because Lessing kept none of her early manuscripts.
Several other Nobel Laureates are represented in the Ransom Center's collections, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Samuel Beckett, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, G. B. Shaw and W. B. Yeats.