A genre-defying memoir in which Lara Feigel experiments with sexual, intellectual and political freedom while reading and pursuing Doris Lessing. How might we live more freely, and will we be happier or lonelier if we do? Re-reading The Golden Notebook in her thirties, shortly after Doris Lessing’s death, Lara Feigel discovered that Lessing spoke directly to her as a woman, a writer, and a mother in a way that no other novelist had done. At a time when she was dissatisfied with the conventions of her own life, Feigel was enticed by Lessing’s vision of freedom. Free Woman is essential reading for anyone whose life has been changed by books or has questioned the structures by which they live.
Feigel tells Lessing’s own story, veering between admiration and fury at the choices Lessing made. At the same time, she scrutinises motherhood, marriage and sexual relationships with an unusually acute gaze. And in the process she conducts a dazzling investigation into the joys and costs of sexual, psychological, intellectual and political freedom.
This is a genre-defying book: at once a meditation on life and literature and a daring act of self-exposure.
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