‘The Sentimental Agents ...’ is set in the declining Volyen Empire as the empires of Sirius and Shammat compete to overwhelm it with rhetoric and false sentiment. The Canopean Empire deploys covert agents to help the Volyens resist. But one of these agents, Incent, succumbs to ‘Undulant Rhetoric’, and Agent Klorathy must go to Volyen to help him see through the empty words that have beguiled him.
Once more employing alien races to identify human failings, Lessing uses social and political satire to show how we misuse speech (and speeches) and delude ourselves with self-aggrandizing notions about the primacy of emotion. Her renowned insight into human behaviour goes hand in hand here with a vein of humour that sees her writing in the tradition of Voltaire and Swift.
Roz and Lil have been best friends since childhood. But their bond stretches beyond familiar bounds when these middle-aged mothers fall in love with each other's teenage sons—taboo-shattering passions that last for years, until the women end them, vowing to have a respectable old age. With Adore, Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, once again proves her unrivaled ability to capture the truth of the human condition.
The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.