Finally handed

Doris Lessing last night formally received her Nobel prize for literature, saying: "Thank you does not seem enough."
Ill health prevented Lessing, 88, from travelling to Sweden for a Nobel presentation in December. Instead, a ceremony took place for the prolific author at the Wallace Collection in London.
Lessing told the gathering: "Thank you does not seem enough when you've won the best of them all. It is astonishing and amazing. I would like to say that there isn't anywhere to go from here."
Lessing said she could hear her father's voice saying: "You're getting above yourself my girl and I don't like it."
The frail author, wearing a red velvet outfit, was helped to and from the stage to receive the Nobel insignia from Ambassador of Sweden Staffan Carlsson.
He told her she was "crowned with a prize you have long deserved". In Lessing's Nobel lecture, previously published, she contrasted the experience in Africa where people were clamouring for books, with the way the west has been "seduced" by the internet.
Lessing's publisher, HarperCollins, announced it would be giving 10,000 fiction and non-fiction books to Zimbabwe in her name.
Actors Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman read excerpts from Lessing's new novel to the audience. Due out in May, Alfred and Emily speculates about how her parents' lives might have gone if there had been no first world war.
In October Lessing became only the 11th woman to win the prize, regarded as the most prestigious in literature, in its 106-year history. She was born Doris May Taylor to British parents in Persia, now Iran, and later moved to what is now Zimbabwe.


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