Doris Lessing, one of England’s finest living novelists, invites us to imagine a mythical society free from sexual intrigue, free from jealousy, free from petty. Sep 2, The premise of Doris Lessing’s new novel-as-creation-myth is that a towering cloven rock used for primitive religious rites: “The Cleft is us. The Cleft, by Doris Lessing. Sex and schism at the dawn of time. By Michael Arditti; Friday 12 January 0 comments.

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From there, lessing story assumes the shape of a quasi-parody of traits generally attributed to males and females. In this fable, Lessing satirises the unchanging behavioural patterns of men and women. Though interesting in small angular perspectives such as the gap between the prosperous and poor in England, the untested “surplus generation” with the latest Turkish and Serbian coiffures in Mayfair and Belgravia, and the “fierce moralities” of the timethis tale hardly casts a spell.

This perfectly crafted book is, as Lessing knows, the latest instalment of a remarkable payback. The Sydney Morning Herald. In it, Alfred and Emily are both broken by the war, and Lessing assembles scenes from their biographies, without trying to camouflage the difficulty of making the pieces fit together.

I suspect they were meant to have an air of fable, as of antique retold tales too misty to be recalled accurately. It seems an extraordinary, almost inconceivable life now. The movie singular, because this was a United-breaks-guitars flight was crap. I found the content really thought provoking and the characters that were present, substantial for the genre that Lessing is trying to achieve.

Dotis really enjoyed the author’s concept. Hardcoverpages.

The Cleft by Doris Lessing

Emily suffered a breakdown that sent her to bed for a year, and Alfred was stricken with diabetes, which led them finally to abandon the farm. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Feb 02, Ali rated it liked it.


Lessing appears to have drawn her background from Elaine Morgan’s notorious pseudoscientific tome, The Descent of Womanwhich argues that human evolution was shaped by a seal-like return to the sea.

I liked the unusual, story-telling, almost biblical style of this story. I like the author’s writing style and the premise of her novel is interesting what if the first humans were asexual females and suddenly started giving birth to male babies.

Trivia About The Cleft.

This is hardly elssing first time Lessing has written about her parents. These two, and their tribes, come into conflict over the sort of things that couples would fight over in a stereotypical s sitcom: Oh sure, I’ve set aside books before.

Women and children first

Keith Garebian is the author of Blue: Feb 23, Cheyenne Blue rated it did not like it Shelves: Alfred disappoints his parents by opting to work for a feckless, alcoholic local farmer rather than joining a bank; Emily defies hers by deciding to train as a nurse.

Instead, they seem thick and meandering, a kind of narrative oatmeal, and the societies constructed are so naive that they too lack energy.

And if there are those who criticize us, then I have only one reply. Writing with the incandescent clarity cleff her 88 years, Ms. They lived by the sea and were partially aquatic.

He tells the story as a secret history of humanity’s beginnings, as pieced together from scraps of documents and oral histories, passed down through the ages. When her husband succumbs to a heart attack at 50, she feels herself torn loose and floating. This book could have been titled ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

The dotis, if reluctant, feminist author Doris Lessing has anticipated critics of her new novel. She suggests that the capacity for cruelty and self-defence has as much potential to take hold of women as it does men.

Alfred Tayler and Emily McVeagh are the writer’s parents and this is a book of two halves – lesssing first section is a novelist’s game of might-have-beens: Of Woman Born A legend about an ancient race of females — and their downfall. The Cleft, like other books by Lessing, is preoccupied with how women and men manage to live alongside each other. It lessijg meant to be read as an historical account.


And the garden, in this version, has been replaced by a wave-washed island replete with caves and a horde of sea-lion plump females who have, who knows how many millenniums before the story opens, descended from creatures that came up out of the sea. The gap is the one in which the writer has always lived. They used tall caves with sandy floors but they might as easily sleep out on the rocks as under the cave roofs.

By allowing her readers this insight into the connection between autobiography and fiction, between form and content, she reaffirms fiction’s powers and possibilities. Unfortunately, since all of this occurs without emotional weight, it fails to provoke insight. But it was bitter, that moment when he handed her the money in its separate envelopes. There is one curious, inevitable missing fact about the account of their lives in the first half which seems almost too obvious to point out; there is no Doris.

One day, a Cleft gave birth to a voris child, which they called a “monster. Want to Read saving…. There is a dreamlike quality to the novella which the reader may initially find it hard to put his finger on, without the demure sentence on the introductory page: At the heart of this quietly extraordinary meditation on family is Lessing’s hard knowledge of two things.