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acceptance speech

2007-12-10 - jjackunrau

From Doris Lessing, this year’s Nobel Prize recipient I didn’t go “Come on guys” about: A hunger for books

This links up improbably with a fact: I was brought up in what was virtually a mud hut, thatched. This kind of house has been built always, everywhere where there are reeds or grass, suitable mud, poles for walls - Saxon England, for example. The one I was brought up in had four rooms, one beside another, and it was full of books. Not only did my parents take books from England to Africa, but my mother ordered books by post from England for her children. Books arrived in great brown paper parcels, and they were the joy of my young life. A mud hut, but full of books. Even today I get letters from people living in a village that might not have electricity or running water, just like our family in our elongated mud hut. "I shall be a writer too," they say, "because I've the same kind of house you were in." But here is the difficulty. Writing, writers, do not come out of houses without books.

Read the whole thing; it’s very good. I like how blase she was about getting the award. She didn’t go to the ceremony and had said she sort of expected the award. “They give it to people before they die, so I guess they figured they should get it done soon.” She’s in her upper 80s.

doris lessing nobel prize speech writers