Famous Quotes By Doris Lessing


  1. All my friends' mothers were appalling women.
  2. For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.
  3. I do not think that marriage is one of my talents. I've been much happier unmarried than married.
  4. I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.
  5. I don't think that the feminist movement has done much for the characters of women.
  6. I hate Iran. I hate the Iranian government. It's a cruel and evil government.
  7. I think a lot of romanticizing has gone on with the women's movement.
  8. I think kids ought to travel. I think it's very good to carry kids around. It's good for them. Of course it's tough on the parents.
  9. I wanted to highlight that whole dreadful process in book publishing that 'nothing succeeds like success.'
  10. I wanted to write about my mother as she should have been if she had not been messed up by World War I.
  11. In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.
  12. It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.
  13. It's lovely to have money to give away - that's the bonus of winning the Nobel.
  14. Men are restless, adventurous. Women are conservative - despite what current ideology says.
  15. My father was in the First World War.
  16. Our society is dependent on some precarious mechanisms, and they are very dicey. They can easily collapse.
  17. September 11 was terrible but, if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn't that terrible.
  18. Sometimes I think what I write is funny in its quiet way.
  19. Space or science fiction has become a dialect for our time.
  20. That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.
  21. The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.
  22. There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.
  23. There was a time when young people respected learning and literature and now they don't.
  24. There's an unconscious bias in our society: girls are wonderful boys are terrible. And to be a boy, or young man, growing up, having to listen to all this, it must be painful.
  25. Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.
  26. We use our parents like recurring dreams, to be entered into when needed.
  27. What really fascinates me is this need that is so strong now that if you read a work of the imagination you instantly have to say, 'Oh, what this really is is so-and-so,' reducing it to a simple formula.
  28. What society doesn't realize is that in the past, ordinary people respected learning. They respected books, and they don't now, or not very much. That whole respect for serious literature and learning has disappeared.
  29. What the feminists want of me is something they haven't examined because it comes from religion. They want me to bear witness.
  30. When there's a war, people get married.
  31. When you're young you think that you're going to sail into a lovely lake of quietude and peace. This is profoundly untrue.
  32. You cannot escape the fact that women mould your first five years, whether you like it or not. And I can't say I do like it very much.


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