In its release, the academy described her "that epicist of the female experience, who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny."
Lessing's most famous novels include her 1950 debut "The Grass Is Singing," "The Golden Notebook" in 1962, "The Good Terrorist" in 1985 and "Under My Skin" in 1994.
Her most recent work was "The Cleft," published last year.
Her works have addressed such issues as socialism, racism, autobiographical, science fiction, feminism and relations between the sexes.
Lessing was born to British parents on Oct. 22, 1919, in Persia, which is now Iran. Her family moved to Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe, and she later moved to London, where she resides.
The annual Nobel awards each carry a $1.5 million prize.