Clancy Sigal's parents were both union organizers, and he was largely raised solely by his mother, Jennie, After a stint in the army Sigal was a union organiser in Detroit, then a talent agent in Hollywood. Escaping the Macarthyite witch-hunts, he emigrated to Great Britain, where he met and commenced a four-year affair with the writer Doris Lessing. He returned to the US, married, and with his wife co-wrote the Oscar-winning 2002 Salma Hayek movie Frida. He died in 2017.
The beauty of Black Sunset, for most readers, will be found in the details, lovingly or painfully described, page after page. Clancy was there, at close range, as [Hollywood screenwriters] went down for the count or got themselves better, on the run from official and unofficial blacklisters. Sigal brings the innocent and guilty back, once more, at close range, and proves himself the liveliest of literary nonagenarians in the process. -- LA Review of Books Sigal stumbles into Hollywood [...] lands the most reviled job in the biz - talent agent - and this milieu is where most of Black Sunset takes place, haunted by the Wink and by a conspiracy of accidents. Black Sunset moves with the express swagger of a Hawks or Wellman picture, although it feels like an Ozu once it's all over and the characters linger in silhouette as if they were a fixture of the freeway system at night. -- Counterpunch 'Gripping ... a great tale of survival. [Sigal is] a terrific writer.' -- Literary Review 'Superbly evokes the Cold War fears of communist subversion, the hidden FBI microphones, subpoenas, and the naming of names ... What stands revealed is a hypocritical culture and society. Sigal's prose style is that of the secret agent in the macho gun-toting sense, with a side-of-the-mouth, shoulder-holster private-eye delivery out of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.' -- Mail on Sunday