How might we live more freely, and will we be happier or lonelier if we do?
Rereading The Golden Notebook in her thirties, Lara Feigel discovered that Doris Lessing spoke directly to her as a woman, writer and mother in a way that no other novelist had done. Veering between admiration and fury at the choices Lessing made, Feigel conducts a dazzling investigation into the joys and costs of sexual, psychological, intellectual and political freedom.
The result is this genre-defying book: at once a meditation on life and literature and a daring act of self-exposure.
About the Author
Dr Lara Feigel is a Senior Lecturer in English at King's College London, where her research is centred on the 1930s and the Second World War. She is the author of Literature, Cinema and Politics, 1930-1945 and the editor (with Alexandra Harris) of Modernism on Sea: Art and Culture at the British Seaside and (with John Sutherland) of the New Selected Journals of Stephen Spender. She has also written journalistic pieces for various publications, including the Guardian, Prospect and History Today. Lara lives in West Hampstead, London.
“An extraordinary meditation on what it means to be a clever, engaged woman two generations after Lessing … A classical, precise use of language … Most compelling … Physically and intellectually intimate”
Patrick French, Guardian
“A fascinating mix of literary criticism, cultural history and memoir so exposing that it can almost make you blush. Feigel writes with singing clarity in prose that sometimes verges on the hypnotic. Her reimagining of Lessing's home and childhood in what was then Rhodesia is vivid and enthralling … Absorbing and highly enjoyable”
Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
“Free Woman is a valuable and brave contribution to a discussion that shows no sign of resolution”
Stephanie Merritt, Observer
“The most intriguing and certainly the bravest work of literary scholarship I have ever read”
“Ironic, beautiful and rather moving”
Joanna Kavenna, Literary Review