Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook

Welcome to The Golden Notebook Project.

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Here are answers to some common questions:

What is this?
It’s an experiment in close-reading in which seven women are reading the book and conducting a conversation in the margins. The project went live on Monday 10 November 2008.

Why are you doing it?
It’s part of a long-term effort to encourage and enable a culture of collaborative learning.

What do you hope to learn?
We don’t yet understand how to model a complex conversation in the web’s two-dimensional environment and we’re hoping this experiment will help us learn some of what we need to do to make this sort of collaboration as successful as possible.

How come only the seven women can comment in the margins?
Good conversations are messy, non-linear and complicated. The comment area, a chronological scrolling field just isn’t robust enough to follow a conversation among an infinite number of participants. Seven may even be too many. [Note: the forums are open to everyone and we do hope that readers beyond the initial seven will join the fray there both as regards the text and the process. We really want to know what you think works and what doesn’t.

How long will the project go on?

The readers will carry out their conversation over a period of approximately 5-6 weeks.

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Meet the Readers

Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman grew up in London and attended Oxford University and UEA. Her first novel, Disobedience, was published in nine languages... More

Nona Willis Aronowitz

Nona Willis Aronowitz writes for numerous publications including The Nation, The New York Observer, The Village Voice, VenusZine, and She currently co-writes a blog called GIRLdrive... More

Laura Kipnis

Laura Kipnis Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and theorist whose most recent books are Against Love: A Polemic and The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability (both from Pantheon)... More

Philippa Levine

Philippa Levine's publications include The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset (2007), Gender and Empire: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (2004)... More

Lenelle Mose

Lenelle Mose co-wrote the screenplay for a Rodrigo Bellot film, Sexual Dependency, which has been screened at dozens of international festivals. Her newest musical Expatriate... More

Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi's first novel, The Icarus Girl, is about a young girl and her imaginary friend. Her second novel, The Opposite House, is a nominee for the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.... More

Harriet Rubin

Harriet Rubin is best known as the author of The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women, which is now in its twelfth paperback printing. She currently writes for the New York Times... More

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