She May Not Leave

She May Not Leave

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

Fay Weldon lets her incisive wit loose on a hot issue facing many modern families — child care, and what can happen when that involves having a nanny under your roof. Hattie and Martyn are the proud parents of newborn Kitty; both are in their early thirties, smart, handsome, and, for reasons of liberal principle, not married but partnered. All seems fine at first — healthy baby, happy couple — but when they have to decide who’ll look after little Kitty, things get complicated. Hattie’s dying to get back to work but Martyn fears employing foreign help might hurt his leftist political aspirations. Martyn capitulates when Agnieska arrives — a Polish nanny who happens to be both domestic goddess and first-rate belly dancer, the maker of a mean cup of cocoa who’s also educated in early childhood development. Having her in the house makes life livable again for the young couple, so when problems arise with her immigration papers...
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Trouble

Trouble

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

Annette Horrocks has every reason to be happy. She lives in a lovely London house with her devoted husband, Spicer; her first novel is about to be published; and after ten years of trying, she is finally pregnant. But Spicer is cruel and distant. He used to dismiss psychiatry, yet now he spouts New Age astrology and accuses Annette of murdering his inner child. Worse, Annette's friend Gilda discloses that Spicer is having an affair. Annette thinks she is going mad, and that's not even the end of it. Trouble is fay Weldon's bracing, enticing return to the vengeful mode of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil—and a reminder that, while marriage has been a nightmare through the ages, now husbands have psychiatrists to make it worse.From Publishers WeeklyPregnant and about to publish her first novel, Annette Horrock finds that her husband is making her seemingly perfect life a perfect hell. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalThe prolific British author easily entices her readers into feeling sympathy for Annette, who has been happily married for ten years to Spicer, a wine merchant. She is pregnant with their first child and also about to deliver her first novel when the trouble commences. Influenced by a New Age astrologist/psychiatrist he once would have scorned, Spicer becomes increasingly abusive toward his wife. Annette is transformed into a type of woman familiar to Weldon readers: someone so intensely focused on maintaining even a bad relationship that she is unable to see the harm she is inflicting on herself. Not quite as funny as such earlier works as The Life and Loves of a She-Devil ( LJ 11/1/84) but still recommended for most collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/93.- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., ColumbiaCopyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Wicked Women

Wicked Women

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

In Wicked Women, a 1997 New York Times Notable Book of Year and her most celebrated collection of stories ever, critically acclaimed Fay Weldon brings her bracing wit to bear on men, love, therapy, marriage, parenting, and the myriad self-deceptions and half-truths that oil the wheels of "civilized behavior".In these twenty madcap tales we enter Fay Weldon's world, peopled with therapists who blithely destroy marriages and Family ties, husbands and lovers whose greatest cruelty is their indifference, and clever women navigating the perils and pitfalls of domesticity. In lucid and finely honed prose, Fay Weldon serves up our greatest denials and most imprudent compromises. Her wicked humor and seasoned wisdom are as evident here as always -- and tempered by great compassion for the foibles of the human heart.Amazon.com ReviewFay Weldon is a writer who understands the value of holding a grudge. Who can forget the years-long vengeance the heroine of her best-known book, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, exacted on her faithless husband and the romance writer who stole him from her? Even the physical extremes to which Weldon's scorned wife goes in order to remake herself in the image of her rival--including broken bones and plastic surgery--are worth it when she finally succeeds in destroying their lives. Horrifying as the conceit might seem in real life, Weldon's fictional revenge, whether served hot or cold, is a most tasty dish. In Wicked Women, a collection of short stories, Fay Weldon continues her one-writer crusade to ensure that bad people get exactly what's coming to them. But if Fay Weldon's stories are dark, they are also savagely satirical. In "Santa Claus's New Clothes," the children of a recently divorced father have some telling questions for their not-so-nice new stepmother, who also happens to be their father's former therapist. In "Not Even a Blood Relation," a mother turns the tables on her three heartless daughters in a manner sure to delight the reader. Weldon has a clear-eyed view of right and wrong--not for her are the concepts of no-fault divorce or infidelity without consequence--and in her fiction, if not in life, victims receive Fay Weldon's fierce brand of justice. From Library JournalIn these 20 stories, some previously published, Weldon continues to pursue the themes of love, relationships, and family with the humor and poignancy that have made her other writings (e.g., Worst Fears, LJ 5/15/96) so engaging. Delivering these themes with varying degress of satire, sincerity, and subtlety, she offers intricate moments in the lives of defeated lovers, insecure cuckolds, perplexed offspring, daring widow/ers, keen children, and underdogs who overcome the oppression of love. Weldon brings together all facets of the relationship race with a unique mastery, using sharp and cultivated prose. Recommended for all libraries.-?Judith A. Akalaitis, Chicago, Ill.Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Mischief

Mischief

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

'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.
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The Heart of the Country

The Heart of the Country

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

When Natalie's husband, Harry, kisses her and their two children goodbye, departs for the office, and never returns, Natalie immediately blames herself. If she hadn't been cheating on her husband every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, he never would have left her for his secretary, a local beauty queen...Now in her ninth decade, Fay Weldon is one of the foremost chroniclers of our time, a novelist who spoke to an entire generation of women by daring to say the things that no one else would. Her work ranges over novels, short stories, children's books, nonfiction, journalism, television, radio, and the stage. She was awarded a CBE in 2001.
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Remember Me

Remember Me

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

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.Review'Precise, compassionate and murderously funny.' Sunday Times 'A wry yet ultimately romantic novel...Weldon's sardonic tongue is in her cheek as she examines the conventions of modern marriage.' Publishers' Weekly 'Fay Weldon's voice is as unmistakeable as her acerbic wit.' Financial Times 'Fay Weldon writes as if she were Virginia Woolf and Roseanne Arnold joined at the hip. She is literary, well-read, totally in control, sharp as a needle and off the wall...' Mirabella About the AuthorFay Weldon was born and raised in New Zealand. Her novels and short stories best-sell around the world and wherever they go are awarded great critical acclaim. Her film and TV work wins enthusiastic viewers by the million, worldwide.
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Worst Fears

Worst Fears

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

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.Amazon.com ReviewThe 21st novel by the "quintessential anti-romance novelist" Fay Weldon, Worst Fears focuses on Alexandra Ludd, a minor actress whose seemingly idyllic life in the West Country in England is turned upside-down when her husband Ned dies of a heart attack. Alexandra learns that not only was her marriage a sham, but that her friends and family are not as loyal as they seemed. When at the funeral her husband's mistress, Jenny, receives more sympathy than Alexandra and even her dog, Diamond, snubs her, Alexandra realizes it is she who has been shallow and vain, and embarks on a journey to discover what really sustains romantic love. From Publishers WeeklyIn Weldon's fictional universe, a character's worst fears are often not the half of it: the horrific reality of the situations in which her protagonists find themselves often go beyond anything they could have imagined. This is certainly true of Alexandra Ludd, a successful stage actress who is performing in Ibsen's A Doll's House when her husband, Ned, a theater critic, dies in their country house. Alexandra takes a leave of absence from the London production, only to find that her friends in the country all seem to be engaged in some kind of cover-up regarding the circumstances of Ned's death. It gradually becomes clear to Alexandra that her husband lived a very different and more promiscuous life than she'd ever suspected. As always, Weldon's fast-paced black comedy is as compulsively readable as it is unpleasant, but Alexandra's utter failure to have perceived any hint of her husband's real nature makes her remarkably unobservant, and her treatment of their son, Sascha, makes her seem outright cold-blooded, while those around her are malicious and spiteful to the point of sadism. The plot, which essentially adheres to Murphy's law with only a couple of unpredictable detours, lacks the cleverness or complexity to be found in such previous Weldon books about women scorned as The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil and Trouble. But even average Weldon is full of delights, and admirers of her witty malevolence will find much here to enjoy loathing. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Long Live the King

Long Live the King

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

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...
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Moon Over Minneapolis

Moon Over Minneapolis

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

A vibrant collection of stories about women making life-altering decisions, by the bestselling author of *The Life and Loves of a She-Devil*In this superlative anthology, Fay Weldon introduces readers to a cast of mothers, children, wives, and lovers—all of them unforgettable, timeless female characters. In “Subject to Diary,” a successful forty-ish career woman sits in an abortion clinic pondering motherhood. In “The Year of the Green Pudding,” a woman who seems to doom everyone and everything she touches vows never to fall in love again. And an analyst’s office is the setting for a series of stories that feature four female patients—including a murderer—who lay bare their souls. Featuring locales that range from Sarajevo to Copenhagen to a hospital for the criminally insane, Moon Over Minneapolis is a major collection from an author whose sardonic wit and razor-edge humor reveal her own humanity and hope for the human race.
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Darcy's Utopia

Darcy's Utopia

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

Eleanor Darcy, a woman of marginal genealogy and looks that play better than they should, is married to the economist to whom the Prime Minister listens. Determined to rip apart the old order and start fresh, Eleanor becomes the serpent—or angel—who whispers utopian visions in Julian Darcy's ear. With the husband in jail for imperiling the financial structure of the nation, Eleanor grants exclusive interviews to two journalists, Hugo Vansitart and Valerie Jones. Though they seem more preoccupied with each other than with their elusive subject, their goal is the same: to capture the essence of Eleanor Darcy. Hugo is loking for truth and pragmatism in Eleanor's vision: Valerie is in quest of the woman's struggle. From their diverse portraits, Eleanor Darcy emerges, and so does her remarkable vision—complete with shockingly sensible ideas about child-rearing, abortion, education, integration, fundamentalism, economics—and, of course, a new twist on that old story of the sexes. Fay Weldon has once again skewered the conventions of modern society with wit and wisdom, shining her flashlight on the threadbare morals of modern life.From Publishers WeeklyThis amorphous but entertaining novel explores economics, politics and spirituality through the ruminations of a flaky/wise heroine. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalOn the eve of interviewing the fabulous and elusive Eleanor Darcy, journalists Valerie and Hugo meet and shack up in a hotel on the dubious strength of Hugo's credit card. As Eleanor (nee Apricot Smith) expounds her utopian plans for religion, education, sex, and money, their spontaneous passion changes course. Weldon mingles tart social commentary and political satire in a novel that is both somber and very funny. The question and answer format is awkward, however; and the humor is very British. Weldon is the author of plays, nonfiction, and such novels as The Life and Loves of a She-devil. Buy this one where there is demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/90.- Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C.Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Chalcot Crescent

Chalcot Crescent

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

Meet Frances, one-time national treasure, former famous writer... and Fay Weldon's might-have-been younger sister. It's 2013. Fay has long since emigrated (wouldn't you, if your imaginary sister stole your future?), and eighty-year-old Frances, her glory days gone, is savouring a slice of National Meat Loaf in her once-magnificent house. Communism's dead, capitalism's fallen, and now government bailiffs are banging on her door... How did it come to this? When did CiviCams and powdered egg replace gossipy dinners and chocolate mousse? As Frances tries to make sense of her story, fact and fiction begin to implode. What secrets are her family hiding? Is her skunk-smoking grandson plotting revolution upstairs? And just what makes National Meat Loaf so tasty?
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After the Peace

After the Peace

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

How many parents does it take to make a baby? In the case of Rosalind Melrose Smithson it took four: one birth mother; one legal father; one interfering neighbour and one turkey baster filled with the defrosted essence of an anonymous donor. Or not so anonymous as it turned out. For donor no. 116349, '6ft 1in, blue eyes, blond hair, BA (Oxon), action man...' is the 9th Earl of Dilberne, who gave his seed back in 1979 as a stripling of twenty-two, and has now conceived a daughter – unknowingly – at the riper age of forty-two. As they say, the truth will out. And what will our Rozzie do when she finds out about her patrimony? All we know is that as a true Millennial, she will not take it lying down...
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The Ted Dreams

The Ted Dreams

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

'It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... except a clot of blood, creeping up from Ted's leg to his brain, to kill him as he slept...'Recently widowed Philly keeps dreaming of her dead husband Ted - strange dreams of a paranormal alternate reality: why is her new husband Robbie so interested in them? He works for a mysterious genetic research company called Portal Inc.But what exactly is Robbie's job? Did he seduce Philly by feeding her experimental new drugs? Was Ted's death intended? Such suspicions make Philly doubt her own sanity - yet something about her new marriage doesn't quite ring true...Witty, unnerving and surreal, this is Fay Weldon at her best.
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The New Countess

The New Countess

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

The year is 1905 and King Edward VII has invited himself and his mistress to a shooting weekend with the Dilbernes. Now Isobel, the Countess, must turn a run-down mansion into a palace fit for a king. Just as well the family fortunes have been restored, but money can't solve everything... not even a kidnapping.The servants refuse to condone the King's morals; Isobel's daughter, Lady Rosina - now widowed and wealthy - insists on publishing a scandalous book, and the mis-spent pasts of Viscount Arthur and his Irish-American wife Minnie rear up to blacken the family name. When fate deals a hand in the middle of the shooting party, Isobel must consider not only her leading position in Society, but her entire future.Fay Weldon brings an aristocratic Edwardian household to fabulous, vibrant life in this gorgeously witty tale of manners and morals, commoners and countesses, from one of Britain's best loved authors.
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Praxis

Praxis

Fay Weldon

Literature & Fiction

Raised by a mad mother and a half-mad sister, abandoned by her father, Praxis Duveen is a master of the art of survival. Her life, indeed, has been full: two marriages, unsuccessful; a brief but profitable career as a prostitute; a little dabbling in incest; a mercy killing; and an inadvertent reign as both apostle and victim of the women's movement. Buffeted and battered by life, Praxis has survived with energy and humor intact. Her struggles with men and women, with mother and marriages, and most particularly, with herself, become, in Weldon's deft hands, a witty and trenchant commentary on what women want—and what they can actually get.Review"Weldon writes with elegance and drive, delivering sentences like pellets from a BB gun—wry, pithy, rapid-fire."—Newsweek "Dazzling—pointing up the mad underside of our sexual politics with a venomous accuracy for which wit is far too mild a word"—The New York Times Book Review "Weldon's most directly feminist novel … A narrative that convinces, horrifies, and entertains"—Library JournalAbout the AuthorFay Weldon was raised in a household of women in New Zealand, and produced four sons of her own, as if to balance the gender count. After taking degrees in economics and psychology at the University of Edinburgh, she survived a decade of odd jobs and hard times, then began writing film and television scripts and fiction. Among her eighteen novels and short-story collections are Trouble, Life Force, The Cloning of Joanna May, Darcy's Utopia, The Shrapnel Academy, The Life and Loves of a She-devil, Leader of the Band, Puffball, and The Heart of the Country, winner of the 1989 Los Angeles Times Fiction Award. Fay Weldon lives in London and Somerset.
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