Four Short Novels
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060530112, 311pp.
Publication Date: January 4, 2005
In the title novel, two friends fall in love with each other's teenage sons, and these passions last for years, until the women end them, vowing a respectable old age. In Victoria and the Staveneys, a young woman gives birth to a child of mixed race and struggles with feelings of estrangement as her daughter gets drawn into a world of white privilege. The Reason for It traces the birth, faltering, and decline of an ancient culture, with enlightening modern resonances. A Love Child features a World War II soldier who believes he has fathered a love child during a fleeting wartime romance and cannot be convinced otherwise.
“[Lessing] has never written better.”
-New York Times Book Review
“A LOVE CHILD possesses both a palpable immediacy and a haunting afterlife.”
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“The four pieces that make up The Grandmothers are masterpieces of artistry and intellect.”
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Stunning … showing Lessing’s trademark incisiveness.”
“Lessing is without peer.”
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Powerful… beautifully realized.”
“A brilliantly written book … Lessing is at the top of her game.”
-Library Journal (starred)