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Print Novel October 3, 2000
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Doris Lessing
Ben, in the World
2000

In The Fifth Child
Lessing describes what happens when an odd child is born into an emblematically normal upper-class British family. Wired differently than the rest of us, the child is a disturbing throwback whose otherness causes pain for both himself and his family. Twelve years later, she offers the sequel, Ben, in the World, in which the boy has grown into a man: more hurt, haunted, and lonely than ever. Now in her late seventies, Doris Lessing seems to be unstoppable in her craft and her curiosity, even, as here, when meditating on death and utter aloneness.


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