Last month saw the death of the American author and essayist Clancy Sigal, who was a major figure in Doris Lessing’s life during the late 1950s and early ’60s. Sigal’s novels include Zone of the Interior (1976) and The Secret Defector (1992), and his nonfiction works include Going Away (1961) and Black Sunset, published just last year.
Sigal and Lessing’s intense relationship had a complex influence on several of their writings, including The Golden Notebook — as has recently been explored by Roberta Rubenstein in her book Literary Half-Lives: Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à Clef. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas also has a page about the pair.
Sigal was a prolific essayist in the literary and political press. Links to some obituaries and remembrances follow. Feel free to cite further write-ups in the comments, or contact us with a link.
The winner of the 2016 Doris Lessing Society graduate student essay contest has been announced! See this page for the news.
Call for Papers, Doris Lessing Studies 2017: Open TopicOur refereed journal, published yearly online, invites submissions on any aspect of Doris Lessing’s work.
Manuscripts, which should follow the current MLA handbook for style, must be typed, double-spaced, and between twelve and eighteen pages in length. Manuscripts in Microsoft Word should be submitted to the editors: Phyllis Perrakis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robin Visel (email@example.com) as email attachments. Endnotes should be indicated by superscript numbers manually added within the text and typed in at the end of the article. Contributors may also submit short essays, notes, reviews, news, bibliographies, announcements, and reports of classroom experiences.Deadline: May 15, 2017
Now posted: the Doris Lessing Society’s calls for papers for the 2018 MLA Annual Convention in New York City!
The topic of the Society’s guaranteed session is “Alternative Domesticities in the Works of Doris Lessing.” Following Jenny Diski’s 2016 memoir, In Gratitude, we invite new readings of Lessing’s portrayals of non-biological families, non-normative modes of affiliation and dependence, and unconventional households and genealogies. Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.
The topic of the special session the Society will propose is “Doris Lessing and Planetary Insecurity.” We seek accounts of Lessing’s early and long engagement with the present, global state of crisis and of her insistence on the role of literature, particularly fiction, in apprehending it. The MLA President’s theme for next year’s convention is “#States of Insecurity”: where mankind’s history of “events as varied as war, plague, famine, conquest, and enslavement” have led to today’s climate of “political volatility, fluctuating financial markets, fear-mongering media, and increasingly hateful acts and rhetoric that contribute to a general sense of malaise.” In what ways does Lessing’s prophetic and pioneering work offer a space for “critical and historical reflection, inquiry, and intervention” on these dire and urgent conditions? Deadline and contact details can be viewed here.