Summer reading: Doris Lessing and “A Woman on a Roof”

Doris Lessing’s short story “A Woman on a Roof” transports us to a less complex time, to the early 1960s, when the roles of men and women were clearer, before the Sexual Revolution and feminism, to a time when “bourgeois” morality and patriarchy ruled.

Yet this deceptively simple story doesn’t seem dated, even nearly some 45 years later, in an age of “Sex and the City” reruns and “Girls Gone Wild” videos, because in it Lessing surfaces some elemental questions about male aggression and female sexuality, and about class and power.

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