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Late British Author Donated 3,000 Books for Harare Library

The late Doris Lessing

The late Nobel Prize winner, Doris Lessing, has donated her entire personal collection of over 3,000 books to the Harare City Library in Zimbabwe.

The library has been in existence for well over 100 years, though under different names and in different places.

The library is governed by the Harare City Library Act and the property and assets are vested in a board of trustees “in trust for the people of Zimbabwe”.

The board of trustees comprises the mayor of the City of Harare and the master of the High Court or their successors in office, permanent or acting’.

Lessing lived in Rhodesia from 1924 to 1949.

She was declared a prohibited immigrant after denouncing the excesses of the Rhodesian regime. She was allowed back into the country after independence in 1982.

Her novels include The Grass is Singing (1950), the sequence of five novels collectively called Children of Violence (1952–69), the Golden Notebook (1962), the Good Terrorist (1985), and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos: Archives (1979–1983).

Harare city assistant librarian, Tariro Dube, said the donation is welcome for the struggling library.

Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy described her as "that epicist of the female experience, who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.”

Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2001, Lessing was awarded the David Cohen Prize for a Lifetime's Achievement in British literature. In 2008, The Times ranked her fifth on a list of ‘The 50 greatest British Writers Since 1945”.