Still me after all these years

PHOTO © Lefteris Pitarakis / Associated Press
At the age of almost 88, Doris Lessing stepped out of a London Taxi and in front of her home she found a barrier of journalists waiting for her. "Have you heard the news?", they said, "you won the Nobel prize."
That's how she got the novelty. She didn't realize for the following moments what was the real content of that information. She was not in shock, she was pretty calm and it seemed it didn't pay much attention to the fact. At first she was just not surprised, not such as the literary world. No one was expecting her to win. Following her brief statement she told, while waving goodbye to the cameras, that she won all the prizes in Europe and she felt much honored to win this one. And then she seated down, on a little step in front of her door, and talked for a while with the reporters who brought directly to her ears the decision taken place in Sweden one or two hours before.
This is how she explained afterwards the whole mess (media) she got into:
I was coming back from the hospital with my son Peter who was sick. I stepped out of a taxi and there were all these cameras, a whole posse of photographers. As this street is very good for that kind of thing, I thought they were shooting a soap or an episode of Morse or something. But it was me. So I first heard that I had won the Nobel prize for literature from the reporters.
It is the most glamorous prize, and naturally it has got a lot of prestige, which none of the other prizes have, so it's the icing on the cake. At one point, sometime in the 70s, they [the Nobel academy] didn't like me - they said they didn't - but they seem to have changed their minds. Committees are like that. Of course I didn't expect to get it. I've been on the shortlist for 40 years. It is good to be the 11th woman on the list, I'm only sorry that one of the first or fourth or the fifth wasn't Virginia Woolf. But I don't think it is helpful to talk about writers in terms of male and female. A lot of British writers have won it, which is good. We produce a lot of good writers. I've been talking non-stop all day. I've spoken to my publisher and agent and old friends who rang me up, which was very good. There were lots of people who have wanted me to have it for a long time, so it is very nice that I have. I'm exhausted. To celebrate I'd have to go and buy champagne. I'm going to bed.


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