Born Oct. 22, 1919, Kermanshah, Persia British novelist and short-story writer Doris Lessing lived on a farm in Southern Rhodesia before moving to England and beginning her writing career in 1949. Her works, which have often reflected her leftist political activism, spotlight people caught in social and political upheavals. Lessing’s five novel series, Children of Violence, featuring the character Martha Quest, reflects her African experience. The Golden Notebook, her most widely read novel, is a feminist classic. Her masterful short stories are published in several collections. Her other works include a science-fiction novel series, several novels published under the pseudonym Jane Somers, the volumes of autobiography Under My Skin and Walking in the Shade, and collections of essays, including Time Bites. Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.