Author Clancy Sigal, who "had enough rambunctious experiences to fill a novel--or, in his case, several of them," and "drew on his escapades in critically acclaimed memoirs and autobiographical novels, developing a cult following, especially in Britain," died July 16, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Sigal's adventurous life included a 30-year self-imposed exile in Britain as an antiwar radical during which he was "the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing's lover and flirted with suicide as a sometime patient of R.D. Laing, the iconoclastic psychiatrist."
Despite his popularity in England, Sigal "never quite equaled the fame and commercial success achieved in the United States by other stars in his literary constellation--none of whom burned more blisteringly," the Times noted. His books include Going Away: A Report, a Memoir (1961); Weekend in Dinlock (1960); Zone of the Interior (1976); A Woman of Uncertain Character: The Amorous and Radical Adventures of My Mother Jennie (Who Always Wanted to Be a Respectable Jewish Mom) by Her Bastard Son (2006); and Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos (2016). His account of his London exploits is scheduled to be published by early next year.
During his four-year affair with Lessing in the late 1950s, both writers "proceeded to crib from it for their novels," the Times wrote, adding: "Sigal, who insouciantly appeared in public wearing a Friar Tuck-like monk's robe made for him by Ms. Lessing, was cast as Saul Green in her novel The Golden Notebook; Mr. Sigal kissed and told in The Secret Defector (1992), in which the character Rose O'Malley was Ms. Lessing's virtual doppelgänger."