The only collection of literary essays and criticismby one of the most distinguished writers of our time
Toward the end of his long life, Goethe said that he had only just learned how to read. In this collection of the very best of Doris Lessing's essays -- never before published in book form -- we are treated to the wisdom and keen insight of a writer who has herself learned, over the course of a brilliant career spanning more than half a century, to read the world differently. From imagining the secret sex life of Tolstoy to the secrets of Sufism, from reviews of classic books to commentaries on world politics, these essays span an impressive range of subjects, cultures, periods, and themes, yet they are remarkably consistent in one key regard: Lessing's clear-eyed vision and clearly expressed prose. This is a book about books and writers -- Stendhal and Muriel Spark, Pride and Prejudice, de Beauvoir and Ecclesiastes, Virginia Woolf -- but in its breadth and precision, Time Bites is also a map of the human spirit, of our hopes, fears, and basic needs; and on a more personal level, a map of the wonderful, searching mind of one of our greatest living writers.
"Lessing has a first-rate critical mind. Her social and political observations are acute."
"Refreshing and invigorating... An invaluable collection.."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Eloquent, worthy essays."
"Full of that sympathy for the human condition that informs her fiction... Each of these pieces is worth reading."
-The Times (London)
"A clarion call . . . Declaimed in Lessing's brisk, wry voice and articulated with pragmatic intelligence."
"Remarkably cohesive . . . one comes away with a real sense of who Lessing is. . . . [A] humane and truly internationalist book."
-Peter Parker, Sunday Times (London)
"There's much to enjoy in this collection of essays."
-New York Times Book Review
"In these pieces, we hear the tough, uncompromising... courageous voice that has made Lessing an icon for freedom of thought."
-Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement (London)