What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

“The Black Madonna,” Doris Lessing

   As I said in a previous post about Doris Lessing, I discovered this slim volume in a second hand English bookshop in Oslo, Norway. What a happy coincidence, am I right? Lessing was a prolific writer and feminist, and her book of short stories deals with colonialism and racism in the African bush, where she spent most of her childhood. This book for me has officially opened up the Doris Lessing-can-of-worms, if you will, and is the first of what will be many of her books that I will read.

“Meridian,” Alice Walker

   This slim novel follows Meridian, a black woman in the south in the 1970s as she faces off with racism in the civil rights movement. We see Meridian mainly through the relationships she has with other people, including her boyfriend Truman and the numerous people that she tries to convince to register to vote, but also with herself, which is the most complicated and ever-changing relationship. Finding herself pregnant while in high school, she is forced to drop out but later is offered a chance to finish her education; but only after she gives up her baby. Walker presents us with a determined woman who has to face all the devils within herself in order to fight the hate all around her.

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