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This exhibition explores and reappraises the life and work of Nobel laureate Doris Lessing, one of the most celebrated and extraordinary writers of the 20th century.

Investigating Lessing’s Communist activities in Africa and London, her move away from Communism, her activism in the Afghan war, her studies of Sufi mysticism, and her obsessions with the promise of space travel and the horror of nuclear war, this show brings together material that has never been exhibited before.

The objects on display show how the dramas of her political and spiritual life became the backbone of Lessing’s powerful and enduring novels, including The Golden Notebook, the Children of Violence series, and many more. A fascinating selection from Lessing’s extensive personal archive, held in the British Archive for Contemporary Writing at UEA, will be on display for the first time, giving unprecedented insight into Lessing’s life.

East Anglia

Sainsbury Centre

University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ

01603 593199


Opening times

Tue – Fri, 10am – 6pm
Sat - Sun, 10am - 5pm

Closed Mon, including bank holidays.

Free Parking for exhibition visitors – see website for more details

Free to all

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