The Golden Notebook (Paperback)
by Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing is the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007. She is the author of numerous novels, science-fiction, short-stories, drama and non-fiction. She is considered a feminist writer by most critics
This book is an experiment of sorts. The structure is: A main story (which can be sufficient by itself) and then four other notebooks Anna Wulf created in order to keep her sanity. Then there is the "Golden Notebook" where everything is supposed to be assembled together and should help her make more sense of her chaotic life, mental break-down, including the severe writer's block she had.
In the basic story "Free Women" Molly and Ana(a successful novelist) are best friends, they are both divorced and have children. One of the ex-husbands has a difficult relationship with his wife and lovers.
-the Black Notebook is about Anna's experience in Central Africa, during and before World War II.
-the Red Notebook is about Anna's experience as a member of the Communist Party
-the Yellow Notebook is a novel she is writing about her failed love affair
-the Blue Notebook is Anna's journal about her emotional and personal life. Most importantly the analysis of her dreams by her psychoanalyst. At times the dreams take over her real life.
The notebooks intersperse with the main theme, sometimes the non-chronological and overlapping parts make the reading somewhat challenging and confusing.
The novel is artistic and very well written despite its complexity. The "Free Women" section by itself would have also won acclaim by the readers.