Doris Lessing

Tom has written journalism and scholarly articles about Doris Lessing, including an article on Lessing and old age for The Guardian in 2010.

Tom interviewed Lessing in 2004 for The Reader. She told him about a dream she’d had involving a red wolf, about Sufism and about a book she was reading set in Persia (now Iran) around the time she was born there.


Tom spent a month at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin in April 2014, studying Doris Lessing’s typescripts.

He has published an article on correspondence held in the archive about The Grass is Singing, which shows that Lessing refused publication by Knopf in part because she was asked to add a rape scene to the novel.

An early poem of Lessing’s, which he found in the archive, has been published in PN Review.

Tom has published two articles on Lessing which draw on her typescripts: a chapter on ‘interruptions’ in Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, which he co-edited with Kevin Brazil and David Sergeant, and an article on radical pedagogy in Mara and Dann (open access), drawing on the work of Paulo Freire and Idries Shah.