By Doris Lessing
This book was very important to my growth as a novelist because it told the story of a woman whose various selves—political, psychological and sexual—are equally represented. Anna Wulf is a novelist trying to write a novel about contemporary women, but she is blocked. I had never before read a story about a woman who was seeking a way of integrating the disparate parts of her life. The journey of the book is a woman's struggle to harmonize all her passions. I read it when I was writing Fear of Flying and found it fiercely inspiring.