LONDON: British author Doris Lessing, whose powerful feminist and anti-colonial writing won her the Nobel Prize in Literature, died on Sunday (Monday in Manila) at the age of 94.
Her agent and longtime friend Jonathan Clowes said Lessing, hailed as one of Britain’s greatest modern writers, had died peacefully at her London home in the early hours of the morning.
“She was a wonderful writer with a fascinating and original mind,” Clowes said.
“It was a privilege to work for her and we shall miss her immensely.”
Best known for the 1962 novel “The Golden Notebook,” today considered a landmark feminist work, Lessing became the oldest winner of the Nobel Prize in 2007, just shy of her 88th birthday.
She penned more than 50 other works ranging from political critiques to science fiction—many of them inspired by her own experiences of a lonely childhood in Africa and involvement in radical leftist politics.
She was out grocery shopping when she was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize, and only found out when she returned home to find journalists swarming on her doorstep.
Her reaction was a characteristic: “Oh, Christ.”
Nicholas Pearson, her editor at HarperCollins, said Lessing’s life and career had been “a great gift to world literature”.
“She wrote across a variety of genres and made an enormous cultural impact,” he said in a statement.
“Even in very old age she was always intellectually restless, reinventing herself, curious about the changing world around us, always completely inspirational. We’ll miss her hugely.”
Charlie Redmayne, chief executive of HarperCollins UK, said Lessing was “a compelling storyteller with a fierce intellect and a warm heart.”
Tributes poured in for the writer from fans on Twitter, while the Swedish author Per Wastberg pronounced her “one of the world’s greatest contemporary writers”.
“At an advanced age, she wrote some very beautiful works,” Wastberg told the Swedish news agency TT.