CFPs for MLA 2019

The Doris Lessing Society’s calls for papers for the 2019 MLA Convention in Chicago are now posted! We are looking for contributors to two sessions.

The first is “Celebrating Doris Lessing’s Centennial” — our first recognition of the upcoming year as the 100th anniversary of Lessing’s birth! Submission deadline and contact details are here.

The second is “Doris Lessing and Other Writers: Doris’s Daughters,” where we hope to evaluate Lessing’s impact on literature since 1950 by considering her relation to those writers she promoted, overtly influenced, or otherwise assisted, such as Margaret Drabble, Jenny Diski, Anna Kavan, Brian Aldiss, Clancy Sigal, Idries Shah, and others. Submission deadline and contact details are here.

Looking forward to your proposals — feel free to contact the Society with any questions.


the Doris Lessing Society at the 2018 MLA Convention

Full details for the Doris Lessing Society’s panel session and annual general meeting at the 2018 MLA Convention in New York City are now posted on this site’s current MLA page. We hope you will join us for either or both events!

Doris Lessing Studies — new issue

Just published: the new issue of the Society’s academic journal, Doris Lessing Studies! This year’s issue is volume 35.

The journal is first published here on our web site, in PDF format, for members to download. The contents will also shortly appear in EBSCO’s and ProQuest’s literature databases; contact your library for access instructions to these academic resources. Here is a link to our online archive, where this and other recent issues can be downloaded, and here is the page to become a member and receive access.

The table of contents:

  • Letter from the President, Cornelius Collins
  • My Life with Doris Lessing Studies, Phyllis Perrakis
  • Letter from the Co-Editors, Robin Visel
  • Review: Doris Lessing and the Forming of History, Lara Choksey
  • “‘Class’ Is not a South African Word’: Parallel Development and “The Place of Black Labor,” Peter Ribic
  • African, Communist: Situating Doris Lessing’s “African Dances,” James Arnett
  • Prisons We Choose to Live Inside: Doris Lessing Speaks Truth to Power, Eleonora Rao
  • “Power to Disturb”: Exploring Iterations of Queerness in Selected Works of Doris Lessing, Stephanie Settle
  • Teaching Lessing Primarily to Graduate Students, Sandra Singer
  • List of Society Officers

Clancy Sigal, 1926-2017

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.


Clancy Sigal with Doris Lessing


The Guardian

New York Times

Los Angeles Times


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