Other Literary Forms (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
Fay Weldon is a prolific writer, best known for her numerous novels, which focus on the same issues as her drama—the lives and communities of women, the politics of marriage, and the ways that sexual politics affect relationships between women. Her novels are popular both in Britain and the United States and have been translated into many languages. Besides her fiction for adult readers, she has published several children’s books.
Weldon has also written television and radio plays, including original work, episodes of series, and adaptations of existing works such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). In addition, she has published nonfiction books, including ones on writers Jane Austen and Rebecca West and essays on writing.
Achievements (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
Fay Weldon’s drama is notable for its humorous treatment of women’s issues. Her subject matter echoes feminist concerns since the mid-1960’s, and Weldon’s humor encourages the audience to be receptive to her messages.
Weldon’s awards include a 1973 Writers Guild Award, the Giles Cooper Award for best radio play for Polaris in 1978, nomination for the Booker McConnell Prize in 1979, the Society of Authors Traveling Scholarship in 1981, and the Los Angeles Times Award for fiction in 1990.
Other Literary Forms (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Fay Weldon is a prolific author of novels and teleplays. Her best-known novel, The Life and Loves of a She Devil (1983), was made into a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) drama and a Hollywood film. Her numerous plays for television, primarily the BBC, include a 1971 award-winning episode of Upstairs, Downstairs and a 1980 dramatization of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice (1813). Weldon has also written plays for radio and the theater, plus nonfiction and the children’s books Wolf the Mechanical Dog (1988), Party Puddle (1989), and Nobody Likes Me (1997).
Achievements (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Other literary forms (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
Fay Weldon began her writing career with plays for radio, television, and theater, but she soon transferred her efforts to novels, and it is her novels for which she has become best known. She has also published short stories and a good deal of nonfiction. The latter includes a biography of Rebecca West; an introduction to the work of Jane Austen in fictional form, Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen (1984); an “advice book” for modern women, What Makes Women Happy (2006); an autobiography, Auto da Fay (2002); and a collection of her journalism, Godless in Eden (1999). Her collections of short fiction include Moon over Minneapolis: Or, Why She Couldn’t Stay (1991) and Wicked Women (1995). She has also put her comic gifts to work in three books for children, Wolf the Mechanical Dog (1988), Party Puddle (1989), and Nobody Likes Me (1997).
Achievements (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
In addition to a successful career as an advertising copywriter, Fay Weldon has enjoyed a long career as a television scriptwriter, a playwright (for television, radio, and theater), and a novelist. Her radio play Spider (1972) won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Radio Play in 1973, and Polaris (1978) won the Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play in 1978. Weldon has earned growing acclaim for her humorous fictional explorations of women’s lives and her biting satires that expose social injustice, and her novel Praxis was nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize. In 1983, Weldon became the first woman chair of judges for the Booker Prize. She was recognized for her many achievements in 1997, when she received the Women in Publishing Pandora Award. In 2000, she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Bibliography (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
Barreca, Regina, ed. Fay Weldon’s Wicked Fictions. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1994. A collection of eighteen critical essays, five by Weldon herself, dealing with leading themes and techniques in her fiction and various issues raised by it, such as her relation to feminism and her politics and moral stance. A few essays focus on specific novels, but others are relevant to both her short and long fiction. Includes “The Monologic Narrator in Fay Weldon’s Short Fiction,” by Lee A. Jacobus. Essays by Weldon include “The Changing Face of Fiction” and “On the Reading of Frivolous Fiction.”
Cane, Aleta F....
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