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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.
Sequel to The Life and Loves of a She Devil. Lewis is a new kind of 'heroine'. He's an ultra-confident, twenty-something man. But he won't be satisfied with his life until he can transition into the ultimate symbol of power and status: a woman...
'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...
'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.
November 2013 Book of the Month. Sadly the final instalment of the upstairs/downstairs romp in Dilbert Court, Hampshire. I say sadly only because there are no more to look forward to. It’s 1905 and Edward VII wishes to spend a shooting weekend in the country. Dilbert Court must be spruced up. That is the underlying theme that runs throughout this wonderful tale of scandal, infidelity, misunderstandings and even kidnapping. If you are a Downton Abbey fan this trilogy is an absolute must. Do start at the beginning and learn to love the characters. It ends with a surprising twist at the Royal shooting party and getting there is the most enormous fun. Highly recommended. The Love & Inheritance series: 1. The Habits of the House 2. Long Live the King 3. The New Countess
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...
Aimed squarely at fans of Downton Abbey this is a pitch-perfect, witty and fun romp of life above and below stairs and an elegy to the last days of aristocracy and Empire. Set in 1899 this is the first of a trilogy and did you know that Fay Weldon was a writer on the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs? We think it shows in the research that has been used to great effect. Read a free Opening Extract…Go on, you know you want to. The Love & Inheritance series: 1. The Habits of the House 2. Long Live the King 3. The New Countess
Aimed squarely at fans of Downton Abbey this is a pitch-perfect, witty and fun romp of life above and below stairs and an elegy to the last days of aristocracy and Empire. Set in 1899 this is the first of a trilogy and did you know that Fay Weldon was a writer on the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs? We think it shows in the research that has been used to great effect. Read a free Opening Extract…Go on, you know you want to. August 2012 Book of the Month.
Rediscover the joy of Fay: A tale of murder, sex, redemption, remorse and ghosts from the 'mistress of warped suburbia'.
September 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. Kehua! is a gripping tale of a young woman who flees New Zealand in the wake of a murder and finds herself haunted by a Maori ghost.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 11 December 2008. A story not of a wicked stepmother but more a wicked stepdaughter. Fay Weldon gets right to the heart of this dysfunctional family, making the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you read and wait for the inevitable deterioration of relationships. Gripping and intoxicating stuff.
Appeared on “Hay-on-Sky” 24 May. Once one of our most respected authors but her work has tailed off over the last few years. Well now she is back on form with a group of high-powered women discussing their lives while soaking up the luxury in an expensive health spa. Lots of time to talk and share secrets.Comparison: Beryl Bainbridge, Wendy Perriam, Emma Tennant.
The new novel from one of Britain’s best loved writers. Witty compassionate and casually libidinous The Spa Decameron is a real return to form for Fay Weldon.
A savagely satirical tale of marital revenge. Madeleine wants revenge; Madeleine wants to be remembered: Madeleine wants love. Who doesn't? Madeleine is ex-wife and chief persecutor of Jarvis, the architect. Why not? She hates him. Hilary is their daughter, growing fatter and lumpier every day under Madeleine's triumphant care, and witness to the wrongs her mother suffered. For Jarvis has a clean new life with a clean new wife, Lily, and a nice new baby, Jonathan. The furniture is polished and there is orange juice for breakfast. Jarvis is content, or thinks he is, fending off Madeleine's forays as best he can. Jarvis has a part-time secretary too - Margot, now the doctor's wife, unremembered from the days of her youth. Margot, unacknowledged wife and mother, accepting, tending, nurturing his children and her own, complaisant in her lot. Then Madeleine, hurling out her dark reproaches from the other side of violent death, uncovers new familial links in the disruption she creates.
Once again the acclaimed British author of Rhode Island Blues and Big Girls Don't Cry draws us into an unmistakably wild, rollicking tale full of her trademark satirical wit and sharp observation. Grace McNab Salt is the recently divorced wife of the millionaire Barley Salt, who has married Doris Dubois, the sexy, young host of TV's Artsworld Extra. The novel opens with Grace emerging from jail where she was sent for trying to run Doris over with her Jaguar in a supermarket parking lot in an act of revenge. All three attend a London charity ball, and in typical Weldon fashion the meeting turns everyone's lives upside down. Weldon's world is one of relationships: torrid affairs, lovers' spite, and revenge. Full of clever women, breathless romance, insistent desires, and even a dose of the supernatural, The Bulgari Connection is a boisterously witty and stylish novel. The publication of The Bulgari Connection created a whirl of controversy when a front-page New York Times article revealed that Weldon received an undisclosed sum of money from the famous Italian jeweler for a prominent place in her novel. The debate about the legitimacy of commercially sponsored literature has been heating up ever since.
This latest offering from critically acclaimed author Fay Weldon is a darkly comic romp through the minefields of friendship and feminism. On a balmy evening in 1971, five women meet in a cramped living room in the suburbs of London. Tired of their husbands and their own unsatisfying lives, they form the aptly named Medusa, a book publishing house founded on the principle of getting even. With wry and savvy humor, Weldon weaves us through twenty years of these women's lives, as good intentions fall by the wayside and the hazards of their new politics, sex, and infidelity take their toll.
A witty, astutely observed study of sexual politics in contemporary society which centres on an all-female reading group. Oriole wants to study contemporary authors, while Anne prefers well-known classics. Pondering the relative merits, the women reveal themselves, their personalities echoing the literary heroines. But not everyone is there for literature. Nefarious designs are uncovered and tensions rise to a dramatic climax.5 women, 2 men
A figurehead of the early Christian church, Paul sets out some of his thoughts on strife and division, spirituality, the bond of marriage and hopes for his own immortality in this book. With an introduction by Fay Weldon
From the hilarious opening to the satisfying final conflagration, Fay Weldon's Worst Fears is a taut, scathing revelation of the nature of marital intimacy. When Alexandra returns from her stint on the London stage to find her husband mysteriously dead of a heart attack and her female friends ominously invested in smoothing out all the complications of the tragedy, she begins to be suspicious. At first she attributes this to grief, then to paranoia. But she soon finds herself starting to crack, crank-calling her friends' psychiatrist, attacking people with kitchen chairs and breaking into their houses, searching furiously for evidence to confirm her husband's rampant adultery and her own worst fears. A snappy whodunit of the heart....one of Weldon's best novels yet. -- The New York Times Book Review; With a dash of murder mystery and a wink at Isben's grim tales of ruined marriages, this splendid and spiteful novel shows Fay Weldon to be in as fine form as ever. -- The Philadelphia Inquirer; A hundred years hence, if people can still read, Weldon's books will likely have the unblunted edge of Jane Austen, an unsentimental Baedeker guide to sexual manners in an ill-mannered age. Fay Weldon breaks taboos like tape at a marathon, and she hasn't stopped running yet. -- Los Angeles Times.
This is a collection of stories by Fay Weldon, a writer concerned with sexual warfare. This anthology features oafish men, conniving women, blameless and infamous behaviour by both sexes, seduction, rejection and alimony.
In flashback and from the depths of her basement apartment in Earls Court, Esther describes the history of her marital disaster--in between her consumption of chocolate cake, tinned fruit, sweet sherry, and a host of other highcalorie confections. Funny, bizarre, and painful in equal doses, this novel, like her other works Down among the Women and Female Friends, examines the role of womanhood. The time is the mid1960s when sex role stereotypes were being examined and rejected, and The Fat Woman's Joke miraculously reflects the passions, humor, and anger of an era when women's selfanalysis entailed a healthy dose of disruption. Weldon depicts the rage and outrage of that era while examining the interplay of pain and humor that so often characterizes changing romantic relationships.
Illuminations from the dark side. Mothers and children, lovers and wives, carers and betrayers. Some characters struggle, some dance or fly, some try suicide or murder. They may resort to reason and unreason. All of them make choices. Deft, spare and incisively intelligent, Fay Weldon's collection of short stories is short through with her needling moral sense and her vibrant humour.
'The setting of this enjoyable novel is the Shrapnel Academy, a country-house centre for the study of military excellence...Here, one winter weekend, a group of guests gather, for the eve-of-Waterloo dinner, and to hear Gen. Leo Makeshift deliver the annual Wellington lecture...Below stairs lurks a huge army of Third World servants with their illegal hangers-on, led by a lunatic African butler. Murder is plotted. Snow falls. All are trapped...that rare treat: a wildly funny, deeply serious, novel' Daily Telegraph
A provocative view of modern society weaved into a tale of explosive love and, perhaps, even, black magic. Scandalous Eleanor Darcy, wild young wife of a world-famous economist, sketches her vision of Utopia to two journalists, Hugo Vansitart and Valarie Jones. In glorious detail, she describes an earthly paradise of peace, love and technological progress where sex is plentiful and money does not exist. Such is Eleanor's charisma that, to their own astonishment, Hugo and Valerie abandon their families and set up home together om a Holiday Inn.
An astonishing novel 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.
At 6.30pm one Thursday, Natalie Harris's world fell apart when she discovered her husband, Harry Harris, had eloped with Miss Eddon Gurney 1978. Natalie is utterly abandoned in the heart of the country, but then she meets Sonia and her life is changed forever. From the bestselling author of The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil and The Cloning of Joanna May.
Alice is an eighteen-year-old student and aspiring novelist with green spiky hair, a child of the modern age who recoils at the idea of reading Jane Austen. In a sequence of letters reminiscent of Jane Austen's to her own neice, 'aunt' Fay examines the rewards of such study. Not only is her correspondence a revealing tribute to a great writer - it is also an original and rewarding exploration of the craft of fiction itself.