Who Lives and Who Dies

"What’s it like to be giving birth at home, and see blood pooling between your legs, and look up at the ashen faces of a birth attendant, a midwife, a spouse? What’s it like to feel the earth tremble and see the roof and walls of your home or school fall towards you? More to the point, in terms of survival: what happens next? It depends. Not just on the severity of the injury, but on who and where you are."

On Doris Lessing

At the age fifteen, Jenny Diski, a “foundling,” went to live with Doris Lessing. For fifty years, the two talked every week. Diski promised Lessing that she would never write about her but now, after Lessing’s death, Diski has begun to recount the story of their relationship.

  1. What To Call Her?

    The question of how to name her relationship with Lessing plagued Diski.

  2. Doris and Me

    Lessing invited Diski into her home, but did she want her there?