The words of Margaret Atwood in her obituary of Doris Lessing, who died yesterday. Atwood praises Lessing for her understanding of human nature, in particular its weaknesses. It is the theme to which we writers return time and again: our frailty, our intrinsic capacity to err – to fall into pits – and, of course, our ability to transcend our limitations too. As I sit down to edit my first draft of Coming Home, I turn with love and compassion to a set of characters who are all struggling with this difficult business of being human. Thank you, Doris Lessing, for teaching us so much. Another spiritual ancestor.
Doris Lessing 22 October 1919 – 17 November 2013