A sense of place in selected African works by Doris Lessing read in conjunction with novels of education by contemporary white South African women writers

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study provides a more intensive reading of certain works by Doris Lessing set in Southern Africa than has yet been attempted, and reads them,• for the first time, in conjunction with a particular literary lineage within Southern African letters, the novel of education by white women. The works by Lessing chosen for discussion are: two short stories, "The Old Chief Mshlanga" (1951) and "Sunrise on the Veld" (1951), the first two volumes of the Children of Violence series, Martha Quest (1952) and A Proper Marriage (1954), and Lessing's autobiographical account of a return visit to Rhodesia in 1956, Going Home (1957). Those by the other Southern African women writers--all of which, with the exception of Gordimer's The Lying Days have received virtually no critical attention to date--are: Nadine Gordimer's The Lying Days (1953)', Jillian Becker's The Virgins• (1976), Carolyn Slaughter's Dreams of the Kalahari (1981), Lynn Freed's Home Ground (1986), E.M. / MacPhail's Phoebe and Nio (1987), and Menan du Plessis's A State of Fear (1983).

Bibliography: leaves 211-217.