An exuberant, careening biography, a modern day Tom Jones, rich with the sights, sounds and people from a life led to the full in Britain and America in the 1950s, '60s and '70s
Clancy Sigal first came to London 1957. He was homeless, illegal and, according to his FBI file, subversive. Over the next three decades, Sigal was to criss-cross around Britain and back home to the States, devouring as much as life could offer him. This is the story of that time.
With a wonderful restless curiosity about his surroundings and the people, from all walks of life, that he meets, Clancy Sigal is an irrepressibly charming and exuberant companion and narrator. Political and cultural shifts and earthquakes are witnessed – and fully experienced. From racial politics in Chicago to the birth of the CND in London and from a love affair with Doris Lessing, a relationship 'so open you can hear the wind howling through the cracks', to therapy with R.D.Laing, Sigal details it all to constantly illuminating effect.
Underneath all his experiences is the character of Clancy himself. Warm, empathetic and laugh-out-loud funny, he is also riddled with sexual insecurities and deep anxieties. His voice and character are as vivid and captivating as the lost times and people he brings so beautifully to life, making The London Lover a biography to cherish.
About the Author
Clancy Sigal was a novelist, journalist, screenwriter and political activist. Chicago-born, he was an American G.I. in Occupied Germany. Working as a talent agent on the Sunset Strip in the mid-fifties, he was blacklisted, fled McCarthyism, and moved to the UK. Living in London for many years, he worked as a film critic, playwright and a BBC correspondent. He returned to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, and later became a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism. He died in 2017.
An exuberant, breathless sprint through London in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies... It's bright, boisterous and extremely funny -- Francesca Carington * Tatler *
[Clancy's] scapegrace adventures are described with so much vitality and scabrous wit you feel as charmed as one of his serial conquests ... Marvellous * Spectator *
[Sigal] was a tummler of note, a real-life Zelig who found himself with astonishing frequency at the ringside of history, rubbing shoulders with many of its high rollers and low riders ... The compulsion to be near the hot centre never left his restless heart * London Review of Books *
Clancy Sigal lived twenty amazing lives and many of them are in this wonderful book -- Paul Theroux
Clancy Sigal's memoir has all the storytelling verve, arresting candour and personal fearlessness that made his reputation over half a century ago -- David Kynaston
No one tells his story better than he does himself in this highly entertaining book -- Lara Feigel