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From Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, this is the first instalment in the visionary novel cycle ‘Canopus in Argos: Archives’.
The story of the final days of our planet is told through the reports of Johor, an emissary sent from Canopus. Earth, now named Shikasta (the Stricken) by the kindly, paternalistic Canopeans who colonised it many centuries ago, is under the influence of the evil empire of Puttiora. War, famine, disease and environmental disasters ravage the planet. To Johor, mankind is a ‘totally crazed species’, racing towards annihilation: his orders to save humanity set him what seems to be an impossible task.
Blending myth, fable and allegory, Doris Lessing’s astonishing visionary creation both reflects and redefines the history of our own world from its earliest beginnings to an inevitable, tragic self-destruction.
‘Magnificent … an astouding book that sets out to chronicle the whole world of humanity, spirit, earth, stars, soul, virtue, evil, pre-Eden forever’ Myrna Blumberg, The Times
‘Profound, relevant and daring’ Rachel Billington, Financial Times
‘Shikasta is a piercing diagnosis of the unease spreading through our civilization. A powerful fable.’ W.L. Webb, Guardian
‘Shikasta is at once a brief history of the world, a tract against human destructiveness, an ode to the natural beauties of this earth and a hymn to the music of the spheres.’ Time
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.