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Author Clive Sinclair dies aged 70

The novelist won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize and the Macmillan Silver Pen Award for 1996’s The Lady with the Laptop and Other Stories

    Clive Sinclair has passed away at the age of 70
    Clive Sinclair has passed away at the age of 70 Photo: Seth Sinclair

    Clive Sinclair, the author and former JC literary editor, has died at the age of 70.

    Mr Sinclair died on Monday morning. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    The author was listed alongside Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Kazuo Ishiguro in Granta’s list of best young British novelists in 1983, and served as the JC’s literary editor in the 1980s.

    Mr Sinclair, a member of St John’s Wood Liberal Synagogue, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983.

    Bryan Cheyette, a University of Reading literature professor and long-time friend of Mr Sinclair, described him as a “towering and revolutionary figure in British Jewish fiction”.

    Prof Cheyette said: “He was a tremendously loyal friend, and made many deep and lasting friendships. And he had a wicked sense of humour. It could be scurrilous and politically incorrect, but charmingly so, and he was never afraid to be a contrarian. But mostly he was a lot of fun to spend time with.”

    “He was incredibly intelligent but very modest, a rare combination in my experience, and was very knowledgeable of the Hebrew Bible.”

    Born in 1948 and raised in Hendon, Mr Sinclair studied at the University of East Anglia and the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he published his first works.

    He first came to prominence during the 1970s and '80s with titles such as Bibliosexuality: A novel. In the mid-1990s he suffered a series of personal tragedies, including the loss of his wife, Fran, as well as his mother, father and sister-in-law.

    He was also diagnosed with a kidney disorder, for which he received dialysis treatment and a transplant.

    Prof Cheyette said that his friend “found solace in his writing” during that time, producing perhaps his best-known work, The Lady with the Laptop and Other Stories, for which he was awarded the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize and the Macmillan Silver Pen Award.

    Mr Sinclair began a relationship with Haidee Becker, a painter, in 1998 and they remained together until his death. He is also survived by his son, Seth Sinclair.

    A new collection of his work, based on the character of Shylock, Shylock Must Die, is due for publication in June.

     

     

     

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