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The Grandmothers by Doris Lessing
The Grandmothers contains four novellas by Doris Lessing, all relating to the lives and passions passed from one generation to the next. "The Grandmothers" tells of two women, best of friends, who were each single mothers to their sons who were also best of friends, and the strange couplings and forces the women brought to bear on their sons and their families. "Victoria and the Staveneys" tells of an orphaned black woman who has a child by the son in a white liberal family and the love they have for her daughter that seems to exclude her. "The Reason For It" tells of a city that banned storytelling, and its demise with the last elder trying to chronicle its history before it disappears forever. "The Love Child" tells the story of James, a soldier on his way to a posting in India who has a fling with a married woman while en route, and years later still pines for that moment of passion and the child that was born of it. Doris Lessing's stories have received high praise with The Sunday Business Post saying, "The Grandmothers is one of the finest short story collections to emerge in recent years, and it should make a welcome addition to any bookshelf."