Fay Weldon – novelist and writer 1931–20??
(It is interesting to speculate as to how and when and why the two question marks above will eventually be filled in. Believe me, I do speculate, quite a lot.)
Hello to you who now open this site. Probably you read this as a student, having to write a dissertation. In which case this is the official view of me, via my agent, and useful for quoting.
‘Weldon’s novels and stories serve as dispatches from that ever-changing marital front – the war between the sexes. She takes no sides, but has a clear vision of the wounds inflicted, as well as courage shown, and the exhilaration of occasional victory. The least didactic of contemporary chroniclers, she is one of the few authors whose every new novel or story is endlessly discussed and argued over.’
There are of course other views but this will do.
You need to know: that she has been writing fiction assiduously for five decades. That she has written 34 novels, numerous TV dramas, several radio plays, 5 full length stage plays, quite a few short ones, five collections of short stories, had four children, looked after four step children, been married three times, innumerable articles, demonstrated essential respectability by being given a CBE, is big in Denmark and at the time of writing works as Professor teaching creative writing at Bath Spa University. She turns up on TV and radio quite a lot, even at her advanced age, presenting herself as a pleasant, practical, well informed person – not the delinquent she once was.
Or else you have arrived at this site as a journalist after looking at Wikipedia, in which case this one at least comes from a (fairly) reliable source. My Autobiography (Auto Da Fay, Harper Collins, 2002) will give you a detailed account of my early life.
Or perhaps you are a ‘real’ reader, who wants to know more about the person who wrote the book you have just read (though to my mind it is irrelevant: a book needs to be judged without reference to its writer) or indeed, wanting to have info about her back list, mostly available for 1p plus postage on Amazon, though you can spend more.
I write this as I enter my ninth decade, and being as one is on the brink of turning into history, turns herself into the third person from time to time. One feels entitled to look at oneself dispassionately, or as fictional character oneself.
She was once told by a psychoanalyst that to speak of ‘one’ was an evasion: ‘one’ is used as an excuse for following the herd; ‘one’ should be assiduous in examining ‘one’s’ own motives if finding ‘oneself’ using it. Okay, I find myself entitled to look at myself dispassionately.
After the Peace
The fifth novel in the Dilberne family saga – in which the author traced the life and times of both Upstairs and Downstairs, from the end of Queen Victoria’s reign through the first half of the twentieth century – jumps now into the bright new female light of the twenty-first.
This is the story of Rosalind, the genetic daughter of the 9th Earl of Dilberne. Known as Rozzie to her few friends, she was born at midnight on January 1st, 2000: a true child of the new millennium. She’s officially the offspring of Sandra (a nurse) and Clive Smithson (a jobbing actor), but Rozzie’s real father was described in the sperm bank catalogue as: ‘6ft 1in, blue eyes, blond hair, BA (Oxon), action man’. Back in the old world of 1979, Lord Sebastian – at the age of twenty-two, and cheerfully drunk – had earned 25 quid by selling his spoonful anonymously (as the law then allowed) to an IVF clinic. Twenty years on – sold at half price as old stock – his seed unknowingly produced Rozzie. Rozzie, now discovering all this, is hell-bent on vengeance.
We’re told the tale by the Smithsons’ interfering neighbour Gwinny, a woman with a most interesting, if naughty, past of her own.
Published 4th October 2018ORDER ON AMAZON UK
Why Will No-One Publish My Novel?
My writing tips book Why Will No-One Publish My Novel? is published in UK on 12th July.
ORDER ON AMAZON UK
Death of a She Devil
In The Life and Loves of a She Devil women fought men for power and won. But four decades later the fight continues on a new front…
Ruth Patchett, the original She Devil, is eighty-four and keen to retire. She has worked hard to make the world as she wants it: women triumphant, men submissive. Now she is tired. Her business is done. The mantle of power and influence is up for grabs.
Who can take up the role? Valerie Valeria, hot shot millennial, is ready and eager for power to inherit…
Paperback published 5th October 2017ORDER ON AMAZON UK
Before the War
Before the War is my last book: it’s about – well, lots of things. Primarily about how looks dictate our destiny, how pretty girls flourish while plain girls don’t, and how it isn’t fair. It’s about how Vivvie – too tall, plain, Aspergery rich girl – manages to subvert her fate and die happy and a saint: but has to fight her beautiful but wicked mother Adela (of Long Live the King!) to get there. It’s about the world of London publishing between the two World Wars. It’s about how international tensions mirror family dysfunction. It’s about how the charismatic and faithless thriller writer Sherwyn Sexton (Vivvie’s husband – she has to buy him) confuses himself with his fictional swashbuckling hero. It’s about how love wins out in the end: just about. I hope it’s funny when it’s not being sad.
Anyway… (I nearly titled the book Anyway but was dissuaded) that’s the book I believe I’ve written. The reader may see something entirely different. Over to you.
The fabulous Julian Clary reads my novel Before the War unabridged / CD or download:
In February 2015 my publishers Head of Zeus brought out out an anthology of my short stories: twenty-one of the total of five times that number that I’ve written. Although most have seen the light elsewhere some have not; the book also includes my new hundred-page novella The Ted Dreams in print form for the first time.