Skip to main content

Walking In the Shade

About the Book

Walking In the Shade

1996 Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 

Walking in the Shade opens in 1949 with Doris Lessing's resolute good-bye to Africa and her hopeful hello to England. In the second volume of her memoirs, Lessing traces her journey as a twice married mother of three in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia to her struggles as a writer and single parent in post-war London. If Under My Skin focuses on her childhood and various attempts to differentiate herself from her parents and the values and sacrifices they symbolized, then Walking in the Shade marks Lessing's development as a promising writer, cast in the shadow of her vexed relationship to the Communist Party in particular and organized politics in general. In fact, Lessing considered separating the description of her political life into a single chapter, so that disinterested readers could simply skip the section. However, Lessing soon realized that politics permeated her experience of these years so thoroughly that compartmentalization would not only be impossible, but inadvisable given her dedication to representing truthfully the age through which she lived and was shaped. Lessing devotes much of the second volume to the evocation of her creative process, her interactions with the literati of London and the many changes--economic, social and cultural--that occurred in England throughout the 1950s. Walking in the Shade concludes in 1962, the year she published her most famous and most influential work to date: The Golden Notebook.

Walking In the Shade
by Doris Lessing

  • Publication Date: September 23, 1998
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060929561
  • ISBN-13: 9780060929565