Pamela Norris

Mother Swapping

The Grandmothers

By

Flamingo 311pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

DORIS LESSING’S NEW book, The Grandmothers, contains four short novels, each of which could have been developed into a full-length book. Lessing is a skilled practitioner of the art of brevity, as her many short stories demonstrate. In these novellas, she sketches characters and situations with wonderful energy and economy, deftly providing just what is required to understand the complex relationships at the heart of each tale. The effect is bracing: the speed and ease of the narratives make the emotional revelations all the more precise and shocking. There is a thematic connection which makes sense of the stories’ CO-publication, since the impact of one tale influences the reading of the rest. Put at its simplest, they are about the moments of vision that determine the course of a life.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The breadth of Clarke’s knowledge and experience, coupled to a conspicuous absence of pomposity, makes for easy an… ,
    • In this month's Silenced Voices, Lucy Popescu shines a light on Myanmar's persecution of writers and journalists, p… ,
    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,