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Fay Weldon - Author

About the Author

Fay Weldon is one of Britain's best loved and most respected authors. Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Fay Weldon was born on 22 September 1931. She was brought up in New Zealand and returned to the United Kingdom when she was ten. She read Economics and Psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London, then as a journalist, before beginning a successful career as an advertising copywriter. She gave up her career in advertising, and began to write full-time. Her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke, was published in 1967. Fay Weldon is a former member of both the Arts Council literary panel and the film and video panel of Greater London Arts. She was Chair of the Judges for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1983, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1990. She was awarded a CBE in 2001. She lives in Dorset with her husband, the poet Nick Fox.

 

Author photo © Alex Baker

 

Fellow novelist SOPHIE KING on FAY WELDON

Fay Weldon got me through my teenage years and my twenties. I don't know what I would have done without her naughty, feisty heroines. I normally prefer the close third person narrative but her authorial voice is so wicked that it has a delicious character in its own right.

Featured books by Fay Weldon

Death of a She Devil

Death of a She Devil

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/04/2017

'The women of the world gave up romance, subservience and submission, and once empowered, took to hard work, truth and reality. Much good has it done them.' Ruth Patchett, the original She Devil, is now eighty-four and keen to retire. But who can take up her mantle? Enter Tyler Patchett, our new kind of heroine and Ruth's grandson. He's an ultra-confident, twenty-three-year-old man: beautiful, resentful and unemployed. In Fay Weldon's 1983 classic, The Life and Loves of a She Devil, women fought men for power and won. In 2017, men take a decisive step to get their power back...

ebook of the month
Mischief Fay Weldon Selects Her Best Short Stories

Mischief Fay Weldon Selects Her Best Short Stories

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/02/2015

'She's a Queen of Words' CAITLIN MORAN. 'One of the great lionesses of modern English literature' HARPER'S BAZAAR. 'Readable, articulate and fascinating' THE SCOTSMAN. 'Outrageously funny' DAILY EXPRESS. 'Sharp, witty, incisive' THE TIMES. 'Wise, knowing, forthright' INDEPENDENT. Reviewers have been describing Fay Weldon's inimitable voice for years. Now, here is Fay Weldon in her own words. Choosing and and introducing twenty-one of her favourite short stories written throughout her fifty year career as one of Britain's foremost novelists. Included as a bonus is a new novella, The Ted Dreams, a ghost story for the age of cyber culture, big pharma, and surveillance.

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2013

1902: London Society is in a frenzy of anticipation for the coronation of the new king, Edward VII. The Earl and Countess of Dilberne are caught up in the lavish preparations, yet Lady Isobel still has ample time to fret. Her sixteen-year-old niece, Adela, tragically orphaned, has run off with a troupe of fake spiritualists; her plain yet clever daughter, Rosina, is threatening to elope to Australia - of all places - and her new daughter-in-law is pregnant with a potential heir, yet still completely untrained in the particular ways of the English aristocracy. With her trademark joie de vivre, Fay Weldon once again draws her readers into the lives and loves of the aristocratic Dilberne family, as they embrace not only a new century, but a new generation - a generation with somewhat radical views...

ebook of the month

Other books by Fay Weldon

Long Live The King

Long Live The King

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2013

December 1901: With London Society in a frenzy of anticipation for the coronation of the new king, Edward VII, the Earl and Countess of Dilberne are caught up in lavish preparations. Yet Lady Isobel still has ample time to fret, and no wonder with a new heir on the way, an elopement, family tragedy, a runaway niece, and a gaggle of fraudulent spiritualists to contend with... With her trademark joie de vivre, Fay Weldon once again draws her readers into the lives and loves of the aristocratic Dilberne family, as they embrace not only a new century, but a new generation - a generation with somewhat radical views...

Long Live The King

Long Live The King

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2013

December 1901: With London Society in a frenzy of anticipation for the coronation of the new king, Edward VII, the Earl and Countess of Dilberne are caught up in lavish preparations. Yet Lady Isobel still has ample time to fret, and no wonder with a new heir on the way, an elopement, family tragedy, a runaway niece, and a gaggle of fraudulent spiritualists to contend with... With her trademark joie de vivre, Fay Weldon once again draws her readers into the lives and loves of the aristocratic Dilberne family, as they embrace not only a new century, but a new generation - a generation with somewhat radical views...

3 Great Historical Novels

3 Great Historical Novels

Author: Fay Weldon, Kylie Fitzpatrick, Sarah Quigley Format: eBook Release Date: 11/03/2013

Here are three great historical novels in one volume. HABITS OF THE HOUSE: Fay Weldon takes us inside an aristocratic household -- upstairs and downstairs -- in the last three months of the nineteenth century. Tea gowns are still laced with diamonds; there are still nine courses at dinner, but bankruptcy, war and social unrest loom. THE SILVER THREAD: London, 1840. A young woman boards a prison ship bound for the other side of the world. Weaving death, love and adventure, The Silver Thread is plotted like a murder mystery, but narrated with the skill and style of a literary storyteller. THE CONDUCTOR: Winter, 1941. The story of how Shostakovich and one valiant, bedraggled orchestra created a defining moment in the siege of Leningrad - the bloodiest seige in history - is a gripping testament to the life-affirming power of music.

Habits of the House

Habits of the House

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 15/01/2013

From the award-winning novelist and writer of Upstairs Downstairs, the launch of a brilliant new trilogy about what life was really like for masters and servants before the world of Downton AbbeyAs the Season of 1899 comes to an end, the world is poised on the brink of profound, irrevocable change. The Earl of Dilberne is facing serious financial concerns. The ripple effects spread to everyone in the household: Lord Robert, who has gambled unwisely on the stock market and seeks a place in the Cabinet; his unmarried children, Arthur, who keeps a courtesan, and Rosina, who keeps a parrot in her bedroom; Lord Robert's wife Isobel, who orders the affairs of the household in Belgrave Square; and Grace, the lady's maid who orders the life of her mistress.Lord Robert can see no financial relief to an already mortgaged estate, and, though the Season is over, his thoughts turn to securing a suitable wife (and dowry) for his son. The arrival on the London scene of Minnie, a beautiful Chicago heiress with a reputation to mend, seems the answer to all their prayers.As the writer of the pilot episode of the original Upstairs, Downstairs-Fay Weldon brings a deserved reputation for magnificent storytelling. With wit and sympathy-and no small measure of mischief-Habits of the House plots the interplay of restraint and desire, manners and morals, reason and instinct.

Sacred Cows

Sacred Cows

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 13/09/2012

In 1989, after the Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa against Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, Fay Weldon published Sacred Cows, a pamphlet critical of the fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran. Weldon s pamphlet received a lot of attention on publication mostly criticism of her perceived Islamophobia but Weldon set out to enforce the notion that no religion should have the right to issue threats and intimidation; no religion should hinder free expression. In Sacred Cows, Weldon criticizes all aspects of British society Murdoch and the Sun s page 3 girls; white, liberal complacence; problems with education and the NHS and argues that the affront to Muslim people in Britain was not caused by publication of The Satanic Verses itself but rather by the awfulness of the society we have allowed to grow up around us . The Satanic Verses is remedy, according to Weldon, to a fractured, ailing society. Publishing literature like this proves that our society may yet be well and our brave new God of individual conscience may yet arise .Originally published by Chatto & Windus as part of the 'Chatto Counterblasts' strand, this ebook edition is reissued with a new introduction by the author, as part of the Brain Shots series: the pre-eminent source for high quality, short-form digital non-fiction.

Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 11/09/2012

Only single-volume edition available of this exciting dramatic early novella which is an unknown work for Jane Austen's many fans. Written in a series of letters to the daughter of a friend, Love and Friendship tells of a young girl's path to betrayal, by way of a seemingly ecstatic marriage.

Cloning of Joanna May

Cloning of Joanna May

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 07/07/2011

An astonishing audiobook that probes into the strange world of genetic engineering. Joanna May thought herself unique, indivisible - until one day, to her hideous shock, she discovered herself to be five: though childless she was a mother; though an only child she was surrounded by sisters young enough to be her daughers - Jane, Julie, Gina and Alice, the clones of Joanna May. How will they withstand the shock of first meeting? And what of the avenging Carl, Joanna's former husband and the clones' creator: will he take revenge for his wife's infidelity and destroy her sisters one by one?In this astonishing novel, Fay Weldon weaves a web of paradox quite awesome in its cunning. Probing into the strange world of genetic engineering, The Cloning of Joanna May raises frightening questions about our identity as individuals - and provides some startling answers. Funny, serious, revolutionary, this is the work of a master storyteller at the height of her powers.

Life and Loves of a She-Devil

Life and Loves of a She-Devil

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 07/07/2011

The fantasy of the wronged woman made real: wild funny and true. "e;The fun grows steadily blacker and wilder."e; The GuardianWhen Ruth Pratchett discovers her husband is having a passionate affair with the lovely romantic novelist Mary Fisher, she is so seized by envy she becomes truly diabolic, embarking on a course of destruction which brings those around her their just deserts and herself an amazing reward. This is the fantasy of the wronged woman made real: wild, funny, true.

Affliction

Affliction

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 07/07/2011

A novel about the perfect pair - or are they?Annette and Spicer make a perfect pair: he thirty-nine, wide-shouldered, square-jawed, and often likened to Harrison Ford; she slight, fair, delicately featured, and sometimes likened to Meryl Streep. He with a son (Jason, eleven) from a previous marriage, she with a daughter (Susan, thirteen) from a ditto. He and she, after ten years, expecting their own baby. But on this, the first day of the rest of their blissful lives, Spicer fails to kiss Annette goodbye as he leaves for the office.

Splitting

Splitting

Author: Fay Weldon Format: eBook Release Date: 07/07/2011

How many women can you fit into one body? A novel of split personalities. A marriage, its breakdown, and a perforated heroine: one woman, many faces, many personalities, and more emerging: a crumbling house, and the rooms of that house (which in our dreams are aspects of the self). Any more trauma and it's all over!Sir Edwin Rice has decided to divorce Lady Angelica, ex-rock star. She has behaved intolerably. He petitions the Court to set him free. Angelica fights back. She is not what he thinks - but then what woman ever is? Angelica takes a job as secretary to her husband's divorce solicitor - only to find one false personality leading to another. How is she to find herself: amongst good wife Angelica, Angel the tart, Jelly the secretary, all-male Ajax, Angela the hopeless - and only one body, albeit a beautiful one, to go round between the lot of them?

Splitting

Splitting

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

A marriage its breakdown and a perforated heroine: one woman, many faces, many personalities and more emerging .....Witty, sexy and funny, Fay Weldon uses a sharp but healing laser to re-lay out notions of love, marriage and the self. A marriage, its breakdown, and a perforated heroine: one woman, many faces, many personalities, and more emerging: a crumbling house, and the rooms of that house (which in our dreams are aspects of the self). Any more trauma and it's all over! Sir Edwin Rice has decided to divorce Lady Angelica, ex-rock star. She has behaved intolerably. He petitions the Court to set him free. Angelica fights back. She is not what he thinks - but then what woman ever is? Angelica takes a job as secretary to her husband's divorce solicitor - only to find one false personality leading to another. How is she to find herself: amongst good wife Angelica, Angel the tart, Jelly the secretary, all-male Ajax, Angela the hopeless - and only one body, albeit a beautiful one, to go round between the lot of them?

Worst Fears

Worst Fears

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

A classic tale of how a perfectly knitted life can unravel in the space of days. Alexandra Ludd is an actress, playing Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House. In the eyes of the world she has everything a woman could want: husband, home, child, income; good looks, good friends, the plaudits of the crowd and the affection of neighbours. But Alexandra inspires envy as well as love: she was unwise to forget it: she was complacent, perhaps a little vain - and all fate has to do to bring her down is to snip a single strand... Worst Fears is the story of how bereavement can turn love hollow and truth destroy a past. It is a headlong, headstrong tale of anger and forgiveness, of worst fears realised but, in the end, best wishes granted.

Rhode Island Blues

Rhode Island Blues

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

Weldon on top form; Weldon tackling love, sex, ageing, death; Weldon at her wittiest best; Weldon unparalleled. Sophia is a thirty-four-year-old film editor living in Soho. Her only living relation (she thinks), her grandmother Felicity, is an eighty-three-year-old widow (several times) living in smart Connecticut. Sophia is torn between her delight in her freedom and a nagging desire for the family ties that everyone else grumbles about: casual sex is all very well, but who do you spend Christmas with? Her current bed-mate seems to be in love with a glamorous Hollywood film star (not that Sophia cares, of course: she's a New Woman); her mad mother is dead. All she has is Felicity. But Felicity is not your average granny. Temperamental, sophisticated, chic (and alarmingly eccentric), she has seen much of life, love and sex and is totally prepared to see more. Even if it is from a twilight home (The Golden Bowl Complex for Creative Retirement)...Twilight is not at all Felicity's idea of fun; and quite possibly she has more idea of fun than her granddaughter. As the two women's stories unravel, the past rears up with all its grimness and irony; but points the way to a future that may redeem them both.

Life Force

Life Force

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

This copulative sotry of passion, jealousy, fidelity and faithlessness is Weldon at her most provocative. Into the lives of Marion, Nora, Roaslie and Susan erupts Leslie Beck, an old flame not quite extinguished. Recently widowed, though somewhat weepy Leslie is still a man with the Life Force. To the four friends he is Leslie the Lucky, Leslie of the magnificent dong - his force forever pulls. Old secrets stir, old rivalries are resurrected ans cores are settled as the friends are catapulted back into their murky past.

A Hard Time to Be a Father

A Hard Time to Be a Father

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

`Sparkling, sharply observing, insights delivered with a light touch that puts us in a good mood, however dark the comedy' Spectator Here are nineteen glittery new tales about the way we live now, as lovers, partners, children, parents. Or alone. Stories of passion, desire, and necessary restraint; of the near future, the recent past; of old habits, new technology; of won't-be mothers and would-be fathers; of houses, ancient and modern. Stories, in fact, to enlighten us to the true and timeless nature of the human condition in this the new age of self-knowledge.

Affliction

Affliction

Author: Fay Weldon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

When a marriage meets a therapist... Annette and Spicer make a perfect pair: he thirty-nine, wide-shouldered, square-jawed, and often likened to Harrison Ford; she slight, fair, delicately featured, and sometimes likened to Meryl Streep. He with a son (Jason, eleven) from a previous marriage, she with a daughter (Susan, thirteen) from a ditto. He and she, after ten years, expecting their own baby. But on this, the first day of the rest of their blissful lives, Spicer fails to kiss Annette goodbye as he leaves for the office.