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The Cleft
Author: Doris Lessing

ISBN: 9780007233434
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1 April 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.1 x 14.5 x 2.6
Doris Lessing, one of England's finest living novelists, invites us to imagine a mythical society free from sexual intrigue, free from jealousy, free from petty rivalries: a society free from men.

An old Roman senator, contemplative at his late stage of life, embarks on what will likely be his last endeavour: the retelling of the story of human creation. He recounts the history of the Clefts, an ancient community of women living in an Edenic, coastal wilderness, confined within the valley of an overshadowing mountain. The Clefts have no need nor knowledge of men -- childbirth is controlled, like the tides that lap around their feet, through the cycles of the moon, and their children are always female. But with the unheralded birth of a strange, new child a boy the harmony of their community is suddenly thrown into jeopardy.

At first, in their ignorance, the Clefts are awestruck by this seemingly malformed child, but as more and more of these threateningly unfamiliar males appear, now unfavourably nicknamed Squirts, they are rejected, and are exposed on the nearby mountainside; sacrificed to the patrolling eagles overhead, the sentinels of their female haven.

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