The Cleft

By Doris Lessing
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060834869, 272pp.)

Publication Date: August 1, 2007

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Description

In the last years of his life, a contemplative Roman senator embarks on one last epic endeavor: to retell the history of human creation and reveal the little-known story of the Clefts, an ancient community of women living in an Edenic coastal wilderness. The Clefts have neither need nor knowledge of men; childbirth is controlled through the cycles of the moon, and they bear only female children. But with the unheralded birth of a strange new child--a boy--the harmony of their community is suddenly thrown into jeopardy.

In this fascinating and beguiling novel, Lessing confronts the themes that inspired much of her early writing: how men and women manage to live side by side in the world and how the troublesome particulars of gender affect every aspect of our existence.

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