The Cleft (Hardcover)

By Doris Lessing

HarperCollins, 9780060834869, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2007



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.

Praise For The Cleft

"One of postcolonial fiction's brightest lights makes mythic the battle of the sexes. . . . A dark parable, powerful . . . "
-Kirkus Reviews

"Eminent novelist Lessing offers an alternative origin story for the human race."
-Publishers Weekly

"Superb and daring.What an amazing book...A from one of the great mothers of the contemporary novel."
-Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

"A revised origin of species.ironic, provocative, epic, heretical, post-modern.vividly descriptive"
-Elsbeth Lindner, Miami Herald