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Doris Lessing: The Golden Notebook

Sunday 22nd April 2018 2pm - 7:30pm Royal Festival Hall Literary Event, Chargeable Event


This reading is part of the essential novels of the last 60 years staged to mark the reopening of the much-loved Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.


Hear readings from Nobel Prize-winner Doris Lessing’s masterpiece The Golden Notebook, performed by artists and authors.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, this radical and innovative exploration of female liberation in the 1950s speaks directly to present-day debates about women, freedom and equality.

The Golden Notebook broke new ground in depicting a fragmentary self and has profoundly influenced each new wave of writers, artists and readers.



  • Eimear McBride, multi-award-winning writer and author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and The Lesser Bohemians;
  • Lara Feigel, literary critic and author of Free Woman, part memoir and part biography of Doris Lessing;
  • Bernardine Evaristo, award-winning author of seven books and other published works, and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University;
  • Laura Bates, feminist campaigner, writer and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project;
  • Adjoa Andoh, film, stage and radio actress; as well as a familiar face on British television, with roles in Doctor WhoCasualty and Eastenders.
  • Xiaolu Guo, Chinese British writer and filmmaker, named as Granta’s Best Young British Novelist and her book A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
  • Lydia Wilson, stage and screen actor who trained at RADA, her most recent appearance is in the lead role of BBC/Netflix’s Requiem and she can soon be seen as the lead in the upcoming feature Moon Shine Still.
  • Rachel Long, poet and facilitator, winner of the Poetry School's inaugural Paterson Poetry Competition in 2016, assistant tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme and leader of Octavia poetry collective for women of colour.
  • Penny Pepper, poet, performer and writer of the taboo-breaking book Desires Reborn in 2012. Penny she won a Creative Futures Literary Award in 2013 and her memoir First in the World Somewhere was published in 2017.
  • Patrick French, Historian and writer, his book The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of V. S. Naipaul, won the Hawthornden Prize and The National Book Critics Circle Award and he is now the official biographer of Doris Lessing.


The Golden Notebook has been specially abridged by journalist and writer Claire Allfree.

With thanks to the estate of Doris Lessing for their support.


For full details about the event and to purchase tickets please visit the Southbank Centre website here.


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