Ruth Patchett never thought of herself as particularly devilish. Rather the opposite in fact -- simply a tall, not terribly attractive woman living a quiet life as a wife and mother in a respectable suburb. But when she discovers that her husband is having a passionate affair with the lovely romantic novelist Mary Fisher, she is so seized by envy that she becomes truly diabolic. Within weeks she has burnt down the family home, collected the insurance, made love to the local drunk and embarked on a course of destruction and revenge. A blackly comic satire of the war of the sexes, LIFE AND LOVES OF A SHE DEVIL is the fantasy of the wronged woman made real.
With her inimitable wit and insight, Fay Weldon offers her wisdom on the subject of female happiness and how to achieve it.What makes women happy? Nothing, for more than ten minutes at a time, so stop worrying.In this book, Fay Weldon offers wisdom gleaned from a remarkable life, a brilliantly successful career and a fair share of trouble. She explores what makes women happy; how our lives, jobs, families, bodies, desires, morals and responsibilities affect that happiness, and what we can do to lead more rounded and desirable lives. As she delivers the verdicts, she also delivers short stories, or perhaps parables, to prove her points. To be good, she concludes, is to be happy, to be happy is to be good. The Victorians had it right.A blend of philosophy, storytelling and self-help, this inspirational work shows Weldon at the peak of her creative powers, brisk, stylish and entertaining.
A brilliant, inventive and endlessly delightful new memoir from Fay Weldon, one of our most respected commentators on sex, relationships and gender, that picks up where her acclaimed Auto da Fay left off.Fay Weldon, one of our cleverest and best-loved novelists, returns to the rich material of her own eventful life in this stylish blend of memoir and fiction. Mantrapped is the continuing story of Weldon, writer, mother, daughter, sister, cook, campaigner, juggler of life, time, work and money. Weldon has been rich and poor, sad and happy, and throughout it all, well and truly mantrapped - but does not regret it one bit. From 1960s London (wild parties, no money) to 1970s Somerset (animals, wild parties, no money) Weldon has lived a life rich in adventure and courage. The things you regret, as she points out, are what you don't do, not what you do.In this vastly entertaining book she argues that in a world in which the writer can no longer hope to be anonymous, it is devious, and indeed dishonourable, to keep yourself out of your own books. True to her word, in Mantrapped we get Fay Weldon at her most charismatic, perceptive and entertaining.
A wonderful new collection on topical themes from the controversial 'product-placement' author of The Bulgari Connection.A superb new collection of stories: shrewd, sharp, insightful, with a cheerfully dark view of the world.The wronged wife remains a lingering presence even after the mistress has moved in to her home. Oriole, an enormously successful businesswoman married to the ineffectual Hugh, begins to re-evaluate her life, when her best crockery keeps mysteriously flying through the air. A sculptor finds love while protecting a Roman graveyard from property developers. A Christmas gathering turns murderous for one unhappy guest. A travel writer watches, horrified, as her father runs of with her best friend, but is soon planning revenge.The entire collection is shot through with Weldon's trademark mischievous deceitfulness, her hidden meanings and agendas. Rich, mad, greedy, deceitful, vulnerable her characters may be, but the stories maintain a defiantly optimistic air and sparkle with the irrepressible wit with which Weldon writes about the lives of modern men and women.
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.
It's 2013 and eighty-year-old Frances is listening to the debt collectors pounding on the front door of Number 3, Chalcot Crescent. While she waits for the bailiffs to give up and leave, Frances writes. She writes about family secrets... The problem is that fact and fiction are blurring in Frances' mind.
Be careful who you invite into the bosom of your home - she may never leave...The new novel from Fay Weldon, the writer who knows women better than they know themselves.Hattie has a difficult if loving partner, Martyn, an absentee mother, Lallie, and a cynical if attentive grandmother Frances. She tries to do the right and moral thing in a tricky world, and always has. But she now has a baby, Kitty, which makes true morality rather harder to achieve. Somehow, money has to be earned. Into this household comes Agnieszka, from Poland, a domestic paragon. But is she friend or foe? And even if she is foe, and seems likely to bring the domestic world crashing down around their ears, can they afford to let her go? Well, no.Martyn works for a political magazine, Hattie for a literary agency. At work, too, integrity is suffering as the need for compromise becomes ever more pressing. And always in the background is Frances, tracing the family and social history. And not just family and society but the dwelling houses too; and all those girls and women (the au pairs, the child-minders, the cleaners) who've made Hattie what she is. Not to forget that hefty dollop of male genes which has also played its part - for Hattie's is a lively and none too respectable background - and now, finally, Agnieszka, come to claim her rightful heritage - which is, let's face it, everything. Will Hattie go to the wall? And poor little Kitty...Or will rescue come?
Ten high achieving ladies are gathered together in the week between Christmas and the New Year, at the expensive Castle Spa, seeking, through Botox, aromatherapy and general all round pampering, a new beginning to their lives.
I read my daughter's diaries the other day. Let me share with you. You may think you know pretty much what's going on in your own family. Believe me, you do not.' Sappho was so happy when she married Gavin. She was in love and it seemed that at last everything was falling into place. But she hadn't considered his daughter, Isobel. She is a delightful, charming girl who spends her school holidays caring for the elderly and is the apple of Gavin's eye. Now cast in the role of Wicked Stepmother, Sappho tries all she can to befriend Isobel and find her place in the new family. It's not easy, but no one had promised it would be. Sappho perseveres. But she has a history, and the history works against her.
When it becomes clear that, contrary to popular belief, it is Isobel who steals Gavin's love and attention, and Sappho who must fight for his affection, Sappho is at a loss. How can she win her husband back?
With warmth, wit and her unique insights into the workings of the female mind, Fay Weldon has written a brilliant, unsettling new novel about family life today.
A kehua is a Maori ghost - the wandering dead searching for their ancestral home. Without the proper rituals to send them on their way, they are forced to remain on earth to haunt their relatives. They're not dangerous, and they even try to help the living, though it's wise not to listen to them. They tend to get things wrong... In Fay Weldon's new novel - a tale of murder, sex, redemption, remorse and ghosts - a young woman flees New Zealand in the wake of murder and suicide, hoping to escape the past and find a new life. But the unshriven spirits of the recently departed can't rest peacefully and are forced to emigrate with her - to Highgate.