Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature this week, was profiled by David Streitfeld for this newspaper almost 20 years ago, on Dec. 25, 1988. Some quotes from his article:
"Lessing is a perennial Nobel candidate, especially if the judges ever get around to honoring a woman, which they haven't done since Nelly Sachs in 1966. In fact, she's somewhat like the Nobel Committee herself, always doing the unexpected and confounding her critics -- a species for whom she has no love. 'Why are they so parochial, so personal, so small-minded?' she wrote in 1971, and still wonders now. . . .
"With politics, Lessing has made -- as she readily acknowledges -- some bad choices. In 1982, she wrote: 'I said as late as 1967 that I believed the communist countries were getting more democratic. I did? I did. How could I have conceivably believed such nonsense?' "