The Temptation of Jack Orkney


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Doris Lessing is unrivalled in her ability to capture the truth from the complexities of relationships and the stories in this wonderful collection have lost none of their original power.

Two marriages, both middle class, liberal and ‘rather literary’, share a shocking flaw. A young, beautiful woman from a working-class family is courted by a very eligible, very upmarket man. An ageing actress falls in love for the first time but can only express her feelings through her stage performances, A lifelong rationalist is tempted, after the death of his father, by the comforts of religious belief.

In this magnificent collection of stories, which spans four decades, Doris Lessing’s unique gift for observation, her wit, her compassion and ability to illuminate the complexities of human life are all remarkably displayed.

‘What do you say about Doris Lessing? She has shaped the attitudes of a whole generation of women; she has defined and punctured masculine pretensions and has torn strips off liberal double-think. This collection is a classic.’ Spectator

‘Doris Lessing is the great novelist of the unspoken thing, of the part a husband and wife cannot tell each other, of the little things that people are reluctant to talk about. Her work is suffused with a calm clarity that reassures, heals and encourages.’ New York Times

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