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Lessing's 'The Cleft' Ponders Origins of Life

For nearly 60 years, Doris Lessing has been writing some of the most daring and important fiction in English. As she approaches her 88th birthday, she is still producing superb and fascinating work.

In her new novel The Cleft, Lessing takes a long look back over her shoulder to try to fathom the origins of human life.

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Alan Cheuse died on July 31, 2015. He had been in a car accident in California earlier in the month. He was 75. Listen to NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamburg's retrospective on his life and career.