Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Contributors | September 15, 2015

    Mary Karr: IMG Memoir Tutorials with Mary Karr, Lena Dunham, and Gary Shteyngart

    Editor's note: It's been 20 years since the groundbreaking memoir The Liars' Club sent Mary Karr into the literary spotlight with its phenomenal... Continue »
    1. $17.49 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Art of Memoir

      Mary Karr 9780062223067


The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics Edition (Perennial Classics)


The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics Edition (Perennial Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060931407
ISBN10: 006093140x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Anna is a writer, author of one very successful novel, who now keeps four notebooks. In one, with a black cover, she reviews the African experience of her earlier year. In a red one she records her political life, her disillusionment with communism. In a yellow one she writes a novel in which the heroine reviles part of her own experience. And in the blue one she keeps a personal diary. Finally, in love with an American writer and threatened with insanity, Anna tries to bring the threads of all four books together in a golden notebook.


"No ordinary work of fiction....The technique, in a word, is brilliant." Saturday Review


"The most absorbing and exciting piece of new fiction I have read in a decades; it moves with the beat of our time, and it is true." Irving Howe, New Republic


Timed to coincide with Women's History Month, a new edition of the powerful and liberating feminist novel that raised the consciousness of an entire generation.

About the Author

Doris Lessing was born Doris May Taylor in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919.Both of her parents were British: Her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse.In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her mother installed Doris in a covenant school, and then later in an all-girls high school in the capital of Salisbury, from which she soon dropped out.She was 13, and it was the end of her formal education.

Lessing's life has been a challenge to her belief that people cannot resist the currents of their time, as she fought against the cultural and biological imperatives that fated her to sink without a murmur into marriage and motherhood.Lessing believes that she was freer than most people because she became a writer.For her, writing is a process of "setting a distance," taking the "raw, the individual, the uncriticized, the unexamined, into the realm of the general."

Lessing's fiction is deeply autobiographical, much of it emerging out of her experiences in Africa.Drawing upon her childhood memories and her serious engagement with politics and social concerns, Lessing has written about the clash of cultures, the gross injustices of racial inequality, the struggle among opposing elements within an individual's own personality, and the conflict between the individual conscience and the collective good.

Over the years, Lessing has attempted to accommodate what she admires in the novels of the 19th century — their "climate of ethical judgment" — to the demands of 20th-century ideas about consciousness and time. After writing the Children of Violence series (1952-1959), a formally conventional bildungsroman (novel of education) about the growth in consciousness of her heroine, Martha Quest, Lessing broke new ground with The Golden Notebook (1962), a daring narrative experiment in which the multiple selves of a contemporary woman are rendered in astonishing depth and detail. Anna Wolf, like Lessing herself, strives for ruthless honesty as she aims to free herself from the chaos, emotional numbness and hypocrisy afflicting her generation.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Lessing began to explore more fully the quasi-mystical insight Anna Wolf seems to reach by the end of The Golden Notebook. Her "inner-space fiction" deals with cosmic fantasies Briefing for a Descent into Hell, 1971), dreamscapes and other dimensions (Memoirs of a Survivor, 1974), and science-fiction probings of higher planes of existence (Canopus in Argos: Archives, 1979-1983). These reflect Lessing's interest, since the 1960s, in Idries Shah, whose writings on Sufi mysticism stress the evolution of consciousness and the belief that individual liberation can come about only if people understand the link between their own fates and the fate of society.

Lessing's other novels include The Good Terrorist (1985) and The Fifth Child (1988); she also published two novels under the pseudonym Jane Somers (The Diary of a Good Neighbor, 1983, and If the Old Could, 1984).In addition, she has written several nonfiction works, including books about cats, a love since childhood. Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949 was recently joined by Walking in the Shade: 1949 to 1962, both published by HarperCollins.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

MCI, July 14, 2013 (view all comments by MCI)
If you think this is too old a book to read today, you are mistaken. The story telling is superb, the content profound and the nuanced internal experience of women still resounding, clear as a bell. This is Mad Men for women.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
megcampbell3, December 31, 2007 (view all comments by megcampbell3)
Never have I read a novel that explores the nature of relationships between men and women with such an astute straightforwardness. Doris Lessing's "The Golden Notebook" is a masterpiece because upon a first read it will undoubtedly change each reader, although its brilliance demands multiple readings; it is a masterpiece because it's a complete portrait of a woman of depth (main character Anna Wolf), and it is a masterpiece because it reveals, through Anna’s story, the sum of our knowing that we live hard in our present moments, entrenched—heels dug in—but life will always continue to fly forward, uprooting and changing us into someone new. Sometimes we forget there's always another corner to round until that final corner. "The Golden Notebook" is a must-read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

Perennial Classics edition
Lessing, Doris May
Lessing, Doris M.
by Doris M. Lessing
Lessing, Doris
Lessing, Doris May
Harper Perennial Modern Classics
New York :
London (england)
Women novelists, English
Diary fiction
London (England) Fiction.
Psychological fiction
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Perennial Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.3125 in 17.78 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Walking in the Shade Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier...
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  3. To the Lighthouse
    New Mass Market $4.00
  4. The Summer Before the Dark Used Mass Market $1.95
  5. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  6. End of the Affair Used Mass Market $3.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Award Winners
Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers

The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics Edition (Perennial Classics) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 672 pages Perennial - English 9780060931407 Reviews:
"Review" by , "No ordinary work of fiction....The technique, in a word, is brilliant."
"Review" by , "The most absorbing and exciting piece of new fiction I have read in a decades; it moves with the beat of our time, and it is true."
"Synopsis" by , Timed to coincide with Women's History Month, a new edition of the powerful and liberating feminist novel that raised the consciousness of an entire generation.

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at