Doris Lessing spent most of her first thirty years in South Africa, the "tough, sunburnt, virile, positive country contemptuous of subtleties and sensibility" described thus on the first page of this 700 page collection of shorter and longer stories. The majority are from earlier collections, such as This Was the Old Chief's Country and Five (the novellae) prefaced by the author's introduction; some have had no previous book publication. As she says in her introduction, some of them appeared at a time when "indignation about the colour bar in Africa had not yet become part of the furniture of the progressive conscience." But as any one familiar with her work (the early novel- The Grass is Singing; even the more recently published (here) Martha Quest books) know, Miss Lessing has always been sharply critical of the dichotomy between white and black and Africa has been a specific background for her intense political and social convictions. Her first story here which she describes as full of the "bile" she feels toward alien white colonials, deals with the rejected offertory of a painting of a Black Madonna by an Italian during the war.... It is an impressive collection, confirming the stringent sympathies of this writer which consistently represent protest and commitment.