Time Bites: Views and Reviews (Paperback)

Time Bites: Views and Reviews By Doris Lessing Cover Image

Time Bites: Views and Reviews (Paperback)


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“A generous and pleasurable collection. . . . Vibrant and illuminating, with quotable lines on every page. . . . [Lessing is] a superb essayist: lucid, wise, knowledgeable, and witty.”— Booklist

In this collection of the very best of Doris Lessing’s essays we are treated to the wisdom and keen insight of a writer who has learned, over the course of a brilliant career, to read the world differently. From imagining the secret sex life of Tolstoy to the secrets of Sufism, from reviews of classic books to commentaries on world politics, these essays span an impressive range of subjects, cultures, periods, and themes, yet they are remarkably consistent in one key regard: Lessing’s clear-eyed vision and clearly-expressed prose. But in its breadth and precision Time Bites is more: it is also a map of the human spirit and an intimate diagram of the mind of one of our greatest living writers.

Winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing was one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of our time, the recipient of a host of international awards. She wrote more than thirty books—among them the novels Martha Quest, The Golden Notebook, and The Fifth Child. She died in 2013.

Product Details ISBN: 9780060831417
ISBN-10: 0060831413
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: November 28th, 2006
Pages: 384
Language: English

“Eloquent, worthy essays . . . At times it’s almost as if she’s flying alongside the narrative of the book in question, observing it, telling you what she sees. And what she sees is often exactly what is needed to illuminate the book.” — Seattle Times

“Declaimed in Lessing’s brisk, wry voice and articulated with pragmatic intelligence. Her literary reviews always amplify the book at hand; the pieces on Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen resonate with fresh insight . . . The main theme . . . is the indispensable place of books in the life of an educated person and an enlightened culture. Hers is a clarion call.” — Publishers Weekly

“[A] generous and pleasurable collection . . . Vibrant and illuminating, with quotable lines on every page. . . . [Lessing is] a superb essayist: lucid, wise, knowledgeable, and witty.” — Booklist

“Refreshing and invigorating... An invaluable collection..” — Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Lessing has a first-rate critical mind. Her social and political observations are acute.” — Miami Herald

“There’s much to enjoy in this collection of essays.” — New York Times Book Review

“Lessing seduces the reader into investigating her favorite books . . . Time Bites is provocative in the best sense: Agreeing with Lessing or not, one comes away with the sense of a mind fully engaged with books and the world.” — Columbus Dispatch

“Lessing is a passionate, generous reader and lover of books [and] the range of her literary interests is impressively wide. . . . In these pieces, we hear the tough, uncompromising, direct and courageous voice that has made Lessing an icon for freedom of thought around the world.” — Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Running through each essay is a passionate belief that humans can overcome our tendencies for ignorance and cruelty if we apply our minds compassionately to the task . . . [Lessing] possesses the open-minded curiosity of an autodidact.” — Denver Post

“This book is remarkably cohesive, and one comes away with a real sense of who Lessing is and what she believes. Even when tackling complex subjects, she writes almost casually, with a conversation-like directness . . . [A] humane and truly internationalist book.” — Peter Parker, Sunday Times (London)

“Each of these pieces is worth reading, and indeed re-reading, in its own right but, as an added boon, they also enrich our understanding of Lessing’s own fiction . . . The writing is full of that sympathy for the human condition that informs her fiction and there is something thought-provoking on every page. Lessing’s prose is always penetrating.” — The Times (London)

“From Sufism to Mugabe, from cats to Ecclesiastes, there is something here for everyone. As in the broad-ranging empathy of her fiction, Lessing is not a fussy stylist; her overriding concern is to get to the heart of matter . . . If there is an underlying theme to Time Bites [then] it is the primacy of reading. Here is Lessing the clear-eyed reader on Bulgakov, Stead, Schreiner, de Beauvoir, Stendhal.” — Daily Telegraph (London)

“Takes your breath away with its simple audacity . . . Time Bites is full of [Lessing’s] endless passion for books . . . On writers and writing, on the importance of books in Africa and elsewhere and on the relentless and terrible wash of history, how it drowns and erodes its victims and on the importance of the human voice, human learning, acquired wisdom, we glimpse Lessing’s natural authority.” — Glasgow Herald

“Lessing’s is one of those apparently effortless but graceful styles, which is capable of delivering a comic image of perfect brilliance.” — The Guardian

“[Lessing has] a keen sociological eye for class and ideology; an understanding of the contradictory impulses of the human hearty; an ability to conjure a place, a mood and a time through seemingly matter-of-fact descriptions.” — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Lessing anchors the self in the world and returns the world to the self. In this, she is a daughter of Dickens, of Zola, of Stendhal: profoundly radical and traditional at once, in the best sense of each word.” — Susie Linfield, Washington Post Book World

“Here is yet more evidence that this writer of enormous insight and prodigious talent should have won the Nobel Prize decades ago.” — Chicago Tribune

“To read Lessing, now in her 80s, is to watch an Old Master at work. She sets the scene instantly, viscerally and explores the folds and recesses of character with astonishing economy.” — Boston Globe

“Absorbing … vivid and fresh … Lessing again demonstrates her remarkable social ventriloquism, an ability to convincingly project her voice into a disparate range of milieus and characters.” — Los Angeles Times

“Lessing’s scathing intelligence ranges widely… each [short novel ] unfolds over decades, tracking with dispassionate precision how youthful notions come to define, even defeat, a life.” — The New Yorker

“Stunning … showing Lessing’s trademark incisiveness.” — Vogue

“Lessing has never been one to hide the truth, no matter how damning or devastating, and [THE GRANDMOTHERS] shows that her perceptions of the human condition have certainly not been dulled by age or by fame. She continues to be an incisive chronicler of our times and a wickedly honest storyteller.” — New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Doris Lessing is a compelling storyteller with a fierce intelligence, a keen ear for hypocricy and a sure grasp of history’s cruel ironies.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Intensely readable … [Lessing] offers startling perspectives on domesticity and desire.” — O magazine

“At once intimately detailed yet infinitely expansive in their suggestions of a lost world only recoverable by a profoundly observant writer ….Showing [Lessing] at the top of her very impressive form.” — Publishers Weekly

“A brilliantly written book … Lessing is at the top of her game.” — Library Journal (starred)

“In these pieces, we hear the tough, uncompromising . . . courageous voice that has made Lessing an icon for freedom of thought.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A clarion call . . . Declaimed in Lessing’s brisk, wry voice and articulated with pragmatic intelligence.” — Publishers Weekly

“In these pieces, we hear the tough, uncompromising... courageous voice that has made Lessing an icon for freedom of thought.” — Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Remarkably cohesive . . . one comes away with a real sense of who Lessing is. . . . [A] humane and truly internationalist book.” — Peter Parker, Sunday Times (London)

“Eloquent, worthy essays.” — Seattle Times