In a HardTalk Extra interview screened on 18 February, Gavin Esler spoke to Doris Lessing about growing up in Zimbabwe, how the African continent inspired her writing and how she feels it has changed in her lifetime.
Doris Lessing won the David Cohen Literature Prize in 2001
Doris Lessing was a child of the British Empire, leaving England in the 1920s with her parents to settle and farm in what is now Zimbabwe.
Her life has been marked by rebellion, dismissing the claustrophobic provincial culture of her contemporaries to become one of our greatest living novelists.
Her most famous works include The Grass Is Singing, a riveting tale set in colonial South Africa, and The Golden Notebook, an ambitious tale of a female writer's descent into madness.
Though she now lives in London, she says that in a sense, she will never leave Africa.
HARDtalk Extra can be seen on Fridays on BBC World at 04:30 GMT, 11:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT, 19:30 GMT and 00:30 GMT.
It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 and 23:30