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Event Details


Event Details


Doris Lessing 100 exhibition



Friday 13 September 2019 - Sunday 9 February 2020


The Sainsbury Centre, UEA

Event Category:

Ongoing, Sainsbury Centre, Conferences, Exhibitions

Ticket Price:

£8 / £7

Friday 13 September to Sunday 9 February

Doris Lessing 100 exhibition

The Sainsbury Centre, UEA

The Doris Lessing 100 exhibition will showcase the treasure trove of archival material that Doris Lessing left to the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) at UEA. Her archive includes personal letters, drawings, manuscripts and memorabilia, the largest collection of her personal material in the world.

Lessing’s official biographer Patrick French - who has privileged access to the Archive - and her literary trustees have agreed to release previously embargoed material for use exclusively in the exhibition. These letters shed new light on Lessing’s life as a writer, and give never-before-seen insights into the inspirations and preoccupations that informed her work.

The Doris Lessing 100 exhibition will introduce visitors to unfamiliar facets of a celebrated literary icon. It will explore Lessing’s time as a Communist activist in Africa and will include exclusive access to the surveillance file that MI5 kept on her while she lived in London. It will explore her later disavowal of Communism after witnessing conflicts in Hungary and Afghanistan, then examine her fascination with Sufi mysticism, the horrors and the promise of modern technology, and her later experimentations in science fiction.

This will be Doris Lessing as you’ve never seen her before.

Doris Lessing 100

UEA enjoyed a long association with Doris Lessing. She held the title of Distinguished Fellow of Literature, and the University's British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) proudly hosts her vast archive of correspondence, diaries and personal papers.

Lessing would have turned 100 years old on Tuesday 22 October this year. To mark this important milestone, the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing - in partnership with the BACW - is hosting a major international conference, an exhibition, and other public events.

To purchase tickets and for more information about the exhibition, please visit the Sainsbury Centre website. For details of other events as part of the anniversary celebrations, please visit the Doris Lessing 100 website.