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The Golden Notebook  
The Golden Notebook.gif
Author Doris Lessing
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Michael Joseph
Publication date 1962
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 0718109708
OCLC Number 595787
Dewey Decimal 823/.9/14
LC Classification PZ3.L56684 Go5 PR6023.E833

The Golden Notebook is a 1962 novel by British Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing. This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing's "inner space fiction", her work that explores mental and societal breakdown. The book also contains a powerful anti-war and anti-Stalinist message, an extended analysis of communism and the Communist Party in England from the 1930s to the 1950s, and a famed examination of the budding sexual and women's liberation movements. The Golden Notebook has been translated into a number of other languages.

Time Magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.[1]

Contents

Plot summary

The Golden Notebook is the story of writer Anna Wulf, the four notebooks in which she keeps the record of her life, and her attempt to tie them all together in a fifth, gold-colored notebook. The book intersperses segments of an ostensibly realistic narrative of the lives of Molly and Anna, and their children, ex-husbands and lovers--entitled Free Women--with excerpts from Anna's four notebooks, colored black (of Anna's experience in Central Africa, before and during WWII, which inspired her own bestselling novel), red (of her experience as a member of the Communist Party), yellow (an ongoing novel that is being written based on the painful ending of Anna's own love affair), and blue (Anna's personal journal where she records her memories, dreams, and emotional life.). Each notebook is returned to four times, interspersed with episodes from Free Women, creating non-chronological, overlapping sections that interact with one another. This post-modernistic styling, with its space and room for "play" engaging the characters and readers, is among the most famous features of the book, although Lessing insisted that readers and reviewers pay attention to the serious themes in the novel.

Major themes

All four notebooks and the frame narrative testify to the above themes of Stalinism, the Cold War and the threat of nuclear conflagration, and women's struggles with the conflicts of work, sex, love, maternity, and politics.

References

External links

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