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Children of Violence

Year First Published: 1965
First Published by:MacGibbon & Kee
This Edition:British first edition

From the book jacket:

Doris Lessing's new novel - her first for some years - magnificently captures the mood of a time and place. The scene is Southern Africa in all its contradictions: rich, despoiled land and underbred cities. On one hand, a parody of European standards; poverty, cunning and patience on the other. The time is the last few months of a war that had not only ruined Europe but had flooded a message of equality even into this backwater. Some of the white people have already sensed the imminence of change: they could never again unthinkingly hold down this corner of Africa for themselves and their heirs. The blithe ones continue the active, provincial 'society' game but unease and fear have added a note of hysteria to their lives. The land is redeemed from waste by some of the forward-looking spirits who respond to the war's savage lessons. It is on these people, notably on Martha Quest, that hope seems to be placed. Yet, with the richness of Mrs Lessing's understanding and irony, the failure of 'a way of life' affects and, in turn, is affected by the personal qualities of her characters. Whether they are good or bad, conservative or hopefully liberal, they have scarcely come to terms with an Africa that has begun to flex itself. Between the demands for ruthless courage and their own social weakness these people have no assured future. The sun still shines, the cities are brightly lit, but the shadows are closing in upon them and all their works.
This is book 4 of the series: Children of Violence

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