More than 3,000 books from the personal collection of celebrated author Doris Lessing have been given to the city library in Harare, Zimbabwe, it’s been reported.
The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature died in November 2013, and beneficiaries of her will had to decide what to do with Lessing’s enormous collection of books. They agreed that books not needed for a special collection at the University of East Anglia should be sent to the Zimbabwe capital, the New Zimbabwe website reports.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told the Zimbabwe Herald newspaper the gift was a “magnificent gesture” from someone who had taken “her love for this country beyond her death”. He says: “We have every reason to feel special to have earned this much in her wishes – we are delighted and grateful as any city would be.”
Lessing’s executors say that Book Aid International, a charity the author supported, has been asked to help transport the donation. Throughout her life, Lessing fostered several programmes in Zimbabwe to aid literacy through libraries and studying. Lessing lived in Zimbabwe from 1924-1949, when it was known as Southern Rhodesia. She returned there in 1956, but was declared a “prohibited migrant” by the government for her anti-settler sentiments and left-wing political views, New Zimbabwe says.
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