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Bradley Winterton
Taipei Times, September 2012

…read with particular distinction on Naxos by Juliet Stevenson. She captures innumerable tones of voice, from anger to bitchiness to plain historical recollection…this is a reading to treasure, as well as a book to remember with respect. © 2012 Taipei Times Read complete article

S.J. Henschel
AudioFile, November 2010

First published in 1962, Doris Lessing’s brilliant work defined a generation of women disillusioned by a world that relegated them to second-class citizenship. Lessing’s book became  a ‘feminist bible’ for women of the ’60s, taking on the ideas of female sexuality, professional responsibility, friendship, political disenchantment and personal betrayal. Juliet Stevenson gives a no-nonsense yet deeply sensitive portrayal of writer Anna Wulf, who is trying to keep herself from falling apart by keeping four notebooks—black for her writing experiences, red for her politics, yellow for her relationships and emotions and blue for her daily accounts. As Anna explores her life, Stevenson’s sharp, intelligent narration clarifies each thoughtful comment, each personal failure and each triumph.

Joanna Theiss
Sound Commentary, October 2010

Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, first published in 1962, should be required reading. It tells the story of a young British intellectual living in London in the 1950s, a feminist when the concept was new and clearly an affront to the so-called enlightened men with whom our narrator, Anna, attempts to forge meaningful relationships. The Golden Notebook feels autobiographical and takes the unique form of chronicling Anna’s life through a series of notebooks that generally take on major themes. For instance, one is dedicated to politics (Anna has a fraught relationship with the Communist party, and what membership means for her in the days of Stalin). Some of the most fascinating excerpts from these notebooks are the experiences of a British woman living in colonial Africa before World War II; the passages in which Anna describes the difficulties as a divorced woman with a small child; her sometimes funny, sometimes painful episodes renting out a room in her home; and dealing with arrogant but generally well-meaning Americans.

The Golden Notebook is a commitment—29 hours—and is worth the effort, if for nothing else than as an early feminist manifesto and a peek into what seems to be based largely on Lessing’s early days as a writer. As can only be expected, there are moments of tedium in The Golden Notebook—while interesting from a historical perspective, the long lists of headlines from the news, from clippings which had been inserted into one of the notebooks, may weary some listeners. There are many agonizing moments, including Anna’s disastrous relationships with mostly married, and all horrible, men, and their repetition led me from empathy to some annoyance after Anna kept falling into the same traps. Nevertheless, The Golden Notebook is worth the time, as both a feminist study and an engaging novel. British stage, film and television actress Juliet Stevenson only enhances The Golden Notebook. She gives a masterful performance, especially considering the wide range of characters in this book, coming from southern Africa, the American Midwest, and all over the United Kingdom. She conveys male, female, young, old, with poise and polish.

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