Thursday, 26 April 2012

W is for Fay Weldon

The Goodreads link
Fay Weldon first came to my attention when I was 12, and my mum was watching the BBC version The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, which tells the story of one of the most extreme acts of revenge in literature. If you are unfamiliar with the story, an unattractive and downtrodden housewife embarks on a complete plastic-surgery reinvention of herself and procedes to irrevocably punish her ex-husband for the suffering he caused her. (Dennis Waterman played the husband - I am unsure whether he sang the theme tune :-))

Link to Goodreads
(Rosanne Barr made a version in 1989, if you're interested, called She-Devil.)

Years later, when I was 18, ITV adapted The Cloning of Joanna May. This time, an aggrieved man clones his ex-wife.

I've since read a couple of her novels, and marital relations play a big part in her work, particularly those relations which are no longer working, or no longer what they seem. On the whole, her writing is good, but what drew me to include her in this series (apart from the W in her name!) is the sheer scope of her ideas. Plastic surgery when it was still quite a bizarre thing to do; cloning when the idea of clones was first being mooted.

If nothing else, she is inspiration to keep an eye on the news and pick up on those tiny little 'and another thing...' snippets that appear at the bottom of the page, or the end of the new bulletins. You never know what you'll pick up on!



28 comments:

  1. I love the premise of this. I'd heard of the Rosanne Barr movie, but have never seen it.Now I'd like to read the book.
    Karen

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    1. No, I haven't seen the Roseanne Barr version either. The book was good.

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  2. I remember her in "She Devil". She got critiqued pretty harsh for it, didn't she?

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    1. I don't know, but I'm itching to google it now, to find out :-)

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  3. Picking up on small details can often lead to interesting developments. Of course, the research they entail can take up hours of time;-)

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    1. I think the research would be worth if, if you really did stumble across an innovative idea!

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  4. I am impressed by those high concept grabbers. It takes an adventurous nature to just go for it!

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    1. She certainly didn't stick to the normal fictional ideas, although I think her novels calmed down a bit later in her career - still lots of revenge though!

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  5. I love innovation - Fay sounds like she really kept her eyes and ears open for breakthroughs

    nice to meet you Annlisa
    moondustwriter's blog

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    1. Hi Leslie, thanks for stopping by. I think science moves so fast these days, it would be harder to jump on something like Fay did. Worth a try though?

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  6. Heard of her but never read any of her books.

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    1. That seems to have been the theme for my challenge - finding authors I thought were really well known, to find that actually they're not!

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  7. interesting post, and made me curious to check out her work.

    Thanks from wordsplash

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    1. Oh good, that's what I was hoping would happen :-)

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  8. I remember reading a Fay Weldon, and always meant to read more. I will have to amend that fact.

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    1. I'm forever reading a new author and then forgetting to look up their other books!

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  9. I've never read Weldon's work but I find it so interesting that she was so ahead of her time on these issues. Now I want to read her books.

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    1. I'd love to be able to do that myself - must read more newspapers!

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  10. Thanks for a timely post, as she's an author I've been meaning to read more of :)

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  11. Hello, Annalisa! I'm unfamiliar with Weldon's work. I'll have to check it out!

    Newspaper articles are one of the best things for story inspiration. I'm always saving articles in my files for ideas!

    Have a lovely week and happy A to Z!!

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    1. Hi Laura. I'm also a fan of people-watching for ideas. Enjoy the last 3 letters :-)

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    1. She has an interesting way of writing.

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  13. First time I've heard of Fay. Reading through your posts makes me realize how much wonderful work is out there, waiting to be read. I don't think we have enough years in our life to enjoy it all.

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    1. Reading through the comments on my posts has made me realise how different my reading habits are compared to almost everyone else! Mostly, I avoid the bestseller lists - it's a gamble, but it often pays off!

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  14. Annalisa, thanks for sharing Fay Weldon in this excellent "W" post; another great author to add to my growing list.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I've really enjoyed sharing different authors with everyone!

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