This article was originally published in The Progressive's June, 1999 edition. To get more great content like this, subscribe today for as little as $10 a year and get a free 2014 calendar as a gift.
Fifty years after migrating from provincial South Africa to London to become a novelist, Doris Lessing is still writing on a manual typewriter—though not, of course, on the same machine she used for her first novel, The Grass Is Singing (Crowell, 1950).
The arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London this October signaled the possibility, however fleeting, that justice, on hold for a quarter century since the dictator's brutal 1973 seizure of power in Chile, might finally be realized. It provided a source of hope for those who survived that cataclysm and for the many Chileans who were forced to flee their country in its aftermath. Among the most prominent of those driven into exile is playwright, poet, novelist, cartoonist, essayist, and memoirist Ariel Dorfman.