Doris May Lessing: The Memoirs of a Survivor (2777 words)


The Memoirs of a Survivor (Octagon Press, 1974) is a pivotal novel. It marks a transition from Doris Lessing's earlier preoccupation with psychological inner space (most apparent in Briefing For a Descent into Hell, 1971) to her space fiction series (Canopus in Argos: Archives, 1979-83, featuring benevolent alien colonisation of earth). The Memoirs of a Survivor is set in the near future at “a time of savagery and anarchy” (p.54), although it is never made clear what kind of global crisis brought about such anarchic conditions. In this respect, Memoirs is less explicit than the final dystopian section of the earlier novel, The Four-gated City (1969), which describes planet Earth as …

Citation: Scullion, Val. "The Memoirs of a Survivor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2003 [, accessed 01 June 2020.]

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