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From Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, this is the third instalment in the visionary novel cycle ‘Canopus in Argos: Archives’.
Ambien II is one of the Five – the highest level of the Sirian Colonial Service and the hidden rulers of the Sirian Empire for thousands of years. She is an accomplished administrator, a mover of populations and controller of events – and lives in the certain knowledge that the Sirian Empire is the most advanced in the galaxy.
As she narrates her story, we follow the profound changes in Ambien II as she realizes that the rival Canopean Empire is superior to Sirius in every way, and is the true ruler of the galaxy. She begins to understand, and accept, that she will be used by her Canopean opposites, announcing their wisdom to her own people, whose denial of this revelation is as fierce and determined as her own would once have been.
Continuing her work in the science-fiction genre, Doris Lessing uses these worlds to set out her view of mankind and history, of her conviction that to survive we must learn to open our minds to ways of thinking.
About the author
Doris Lessing is one of the most important writers of the twentieth century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007. Her first novel, 'The Grass is Singing', was published in 1950. Among her other celebrated novels are 'The Golden Notebook', 'The Fifth Child' and 'Memoirs of a Survivor'. She has also published two volumes of her autobiography, 'Under my Skin' and 'Walking in the Shade'. Doris Lessing died on 17 November 2013 at the age of 94.