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Keynotes

Chris Bigsby

Christopher Bigsby is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, as well as a novelist and biographer. He first met Doris Lessing when he interviewed her for Radio 4’s arts review programme, Kaleidoscope, and brought her to the UEA in 1991. Bigsby remained close personal friends with Lessing for many years. 

He also interviewed her for French television, an occasion on which the recording was twice interrupted by the wail of her three-legged cat which insisted on intruding. Bigsby was instrumental in Lessing's decision to leave her love letters, diaries and remaining papers to the UEA.

 

 

Lara Feigel

Lara Feigel is a literary critic and cultural historian teaching in the English department at King’s College London. Her most recent book, Free Woman (2018), is an investigation of freedom that is part memoir and part biography of Doris Lessing.

Her previous books include The Bitter Taste of Victory (2016), an account of the experiences of twenty of the British and American cultural figures sent in to Germany after the war, and The Love-charm of Bombs (2013), about five writers in London in the Second World War. She is the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize and a European Research Council Starting Grant and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

 

 

Patrick French (Lessing’s biographer)

Patrick French was born in England in 1966 and studied literature at Edinburgh University. He is the author of Younghusband; Liberty or Death; Tibet, Tibet; India; and The World Is What It Is, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hawthornden Prize.

French is the winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award. French is the authorised biographer of Doris Lessing. He is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities at Ahmedabad University.

 

 

 

Dr. Nick Hubble 

Nick Hubble is Reader in English at Brunel University in London. He is the author of Mass-Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory (2006) and The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question (2017).

Nick has edited five volumes of Bloomsbury’s ‘British Fiction: The Decades Series’, and another co-edited collection, Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice, is due out with Palgrave. Nick is currently writing a new monograph, The Science Fiction Futures of Modernism: From Virginia Woolf to the Feminist Speculative Fiction of the Twenty-First Century.

 

 

Prof. Roberta Rubenstein 

Roberta Rubenstein is Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C. Her scholarship on Doris Lessing began with her first book, The Novelistic Vision of Doris Lessing: Breaking the Forms of Consciousness, published in 1979. Her most recent book, Literary Half-Lives: Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à Clef, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.

She also co-edited, with Alice Ridout and Sandra Singer, The Golden Notebook After Fifty, a collection of essays on Lessing’s landmark novel (2015), and is the author of more than a dozen journal articles and book chapters on Lessing’s work.