Doris Lessing and Youthful Ennui, in Springfield, Illinois

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"I am so tired of it, and also tired of the future before it comes." This epigraph by 19th century South African writer Olive Schreiner is how Doris Lessing opens the first Martha Quest novel. Standing in the stacks at the public library, holding the book in my hands, I was hooked.

I found Martha during one of my life's doldrums. I waited for the sky to change, but it never did. I was living in Springfield, Illinois, working as a journalist in one of my first jobs out of college. In my memory, the light was a perpetual February shade of dirty gray, and the temperature always just a few degrees above 40: too chilly to enjoy, not cold enough to snow.

read the rest here on the Bustle website.

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