English PEN is greatly saddened at the news of Doris Lessing’s death. She was a distinguished member of the charity and received the Golden PEN award in 2002 in honour of a lifetime’s service to literature.
From her first novel The Grass is Singing in 1950, to her breakthrough work The Golden Notebook, through to her final book in 2008, Alfred and Emily, her writing was radical in both form and content. In recognition of her achievements, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, becoming only the 11th woman ever to receive the prize.
‘Doris Lessing was a much admired member of English PEN, who generously supported our work with disadvantaged communities in the United Kingdom. Her death is a great loss for us and for literature,’ said Jo Glanville, director of English PEN.