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The Golden Notebook

Lara Feigel joins Matthew Sweet to discuss her memoir which mixes her own life with an exploration of Doris Lessing's writings on relationships, love, war, politics and dreams.

How self-revealing and frank should a writer be? Lara Feigel, David Aaronovitch, Melissa Benn and Xiaolu Guo join Matthew Sweet to look at the life of Doris Lessing and her 1962 novel in which she explores difficult love, life, war, politics and dreams.

Inspired by her re-reading of Doris Lessing, Lara Feigel has written a revealing book which is part memoir part biography called "Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing".

Melissa Benn's books include Mother and Child, One of Us and School Wars

David Aaronovitch is the author of Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists and a former winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Journalism.

Xiaolu Guo has written a memoir Once Upon a Time in the East, and novels including UFO in Her Eyes, and Lovers In the Age of Indifference.

Producer: Fiona McLean

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45 minutes