The Grass is Singing

Doris Lessing


  • Unknown publisher
  • Unknown city
  • 1950
  • English
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages


Set in Southern Rhodesia under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm work their slow poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic and virile black servant, Moses. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses - master and slave - are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion. Their psychic tension explodes in an electrifying scene that ends this disturbing tale of racial strife in colonial Rhodesia.


This was Doris Lessing's first novel, published as far back as 1950, and it brought her immediate recognition. It is not hard to see why. - Barry Taylor, Transition


Doris May Lessing was a British-Zimbabwean novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2007.