December 9, 2014
Doris Lessing’s personal book collection has been donated to the Harare City Library in Zimbabwe
by Claire Kelley
Nobel prize-winning author Doris Lessing died last year in November. She spent her childhood in Zimbabwe, and lived there until age 25 when she moved to London. She later returned to Zimbabwe, but was exiled in 1954 after criticizing the government, and wasn’t able to return until 1982, after the country achieved independence.
Lessing’s personal book collection, which includes over 30,000 volumes, has been donated to the Harare City Library in Zimbabwe.The library will catalog the books, and more photos of the collection appear on the Harare City Library Facebook page.
Lessing is the foundress (along with Zimbabwean Talent Nyathi) of a non-profit called the Africa Book Development Organisation that works to make books accessible in the remote villages of Zimbabwe.
“For us she continues to live,” said 42-year-old Kempson Mudenda, who worked with Lessing when she established the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust.
“The libraries she helped set up are giving life to village children who would otherwise be doomed,” said Mudenda, who said he used to trudge bush paths daily to reach remote villages with books.
Claire Kelley is a the former Director of Library and Academic Marketing.