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by Fay Weldon

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Author: Fay Weldon
ISBN: 1848873050
Language: English
Pages: 288 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Export/Airside ed edition (2009)
Rating: 4.5
Formats: txt azw lrf lrf
FB2 size: 1897 kb | EPUB size: 1497 kb | DJVU size: 1757 kb

First published in Great Britain in 2009.

First published in Great Britain in 2009. The people next door at No. 5 have a generator and would be happy enough to let us plug in and recharge our mobiles, but all down the Crescent back doors have been sealed, fences removed, and back gardens combined to create a communal allotment. So now we can use only our front doors. It was a small price to pay for the vegetables we produced, or so I had thought until now, when I realized there was no way Amos could nip next door unseen.

Spirited characters, led by Fay Weldon's fictional sister, makes this fresh take on sci-fi shine, says Alice Fisher. Weldon has written about her life before, most overtly in the autobiography Auto de Fay and the book Mantrapped – and this is her 29th novel

Spirited characters, led by Fay Weldon's fictional sister, makes this fresh take on sci-fi shine, says Alice Fisher. Weldon has written about her life before, most overtly in the autobiography Auto de Fay and the book Mantrapped – and this is her 29th novel. By this point, faithful readers will be familiar enough with her history to know where fact and fiction interweave, and to recognise instantly that Frances is nothing but a name; the narrator is indisputably Fay.

I knew at once who it was, from the pattern of knocks: imperative but light nking. I was in two minds whether or not to let him in. He came round every few months.

Chalcot Crescent" is a dark book, but never less than a pleasure to read. FAY WELDON, novelist and known wit, is not the likeliest writer of grim dystopian fiction. Ms Weldon, after all, is a woman whose autobiography is titled "Auto da Fay"; who coined the slogan "Vodka gets you drunker quicker" in her previous capacity as a copywriter; and whose output includes titles like "Puffball" and "The Fat Woman's Joke"

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. It is the imagined life of Frances.

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Fay Weldon CBE, FRSL (born 22 September 1931) is an English author, essayist and playwright. Weldon was born Franklin Birkinshaw in Birmingham, England, in 1931, to a literary family. Her maternal grandfather, Edgar Jepson (1863–1938), her uncle Selwyn Jepson and her mother Margaret Jepson wrote novels (the latter sometimes under the nom de plume Pearl Bellairs, from the name of a character in Aldous Huxley's short story "Farcical History of Richard Greenow").

Fay Weldon was brought up in New Zealand

and Fay Weldon's might-have-been younger sister. Fay Weldon was brought up in New Zealand. Creator of the slogan 'Go to work on an egg', writer of the first ever episode of Upstairs Downstairs and current Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, Fay is best known for her novels Praxis, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and Worst Fears. In 2001 she was awarded a CBE.

Meet Frances, one-time national treasure, former famous write. nd Fay Weldon's might-have-been younger sister. 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.

Chalcot Crescent book. This is the first book by Weldon that I've read which is sort of surprising in its own right because she is considered (like Margaret Atwood or Joyce Carol Oates) to be a "feminist writer"

Chalcot Crescent book. This is the first book by Weldon that I've read which is sort of surprising in its own right because she is considered (like Margaret Atwood or Joyce Carol Oates) to be a "feminist writer". You think I'd have read all 29 of her books and had serious thoughts about all of them. But this is the first.

By Fay Weldon (Corvus £1. 9). This is Weldon back to her best - an -from-now delivered with her trademark warm-hearted cynicism and bone-dry wit. By Harry Ritchie for MailOnline Updated: 07:41 EST, 22 September 2009. This is a dispatch from the future written by Frances Prideaux, the younger sister Fay Weldon never had. Like her older (real) sibling, Frances is a writer, though one whose days of fame, glory and wealth are over.

Comments (5)
It is 2013. And in England the collapse of the economy in 2008 is playing itself out because nothing has worked to bring it back. The NUG is in control--the National Unity Government--and those readers who know Orwell's "1984"--and who doesn't?--will experience what very well might actually happen. It is a world filled with paranoia, with surveillance cameras everywhere: "Dath by caual push is rumoured to be one of NUG's favoured methods of assassinaiton," she says at one point in the novel. "...paranoia has swept the country: we who used to be so trusting, so welcoming of immigrants, dismayed by a smacked child, hopeful of globalism, who felt loyal even of our mortgage company, are now thoroughly suspicious." As well they should be. And as well as most of us might be if we were to collectively acknowledge just how scary it is to live in a world where Wall Street rules supreme. Google continues to exist is "This page cannot currently be displayed" is any indication of just how scare information is. Oh, yes, and there is a NW. A Neighbourhood Watch. Fay Weldon draws well, in a timely way, from Orwell.
This tale is told brilliantly--at least most of it is--by an octogenarian published writer who lives with her grandson, Amos, on Chalcot Crescent. And when the novel opens, outside her door, men are attempting to get her to open up so they can perform some type of foreclosure since this house she has owned for nearly 50 years is now in jeopardy as have been millions of other homes.
At times our narrator berates her own writing, telling us we might do well to stop reading the book. But I don't think you will. Or telling us that what we are reading is "a bowdlerised version"--note that I am using the British spellings--and she will get around to editing it later. And she seems to know just about everything that is going on, recreating conversations she would not have heard except she is able, she claims, to piece things together based upon what people tell her in phone conversations and emails when she can get them. The electricity is often off. Water is very scare, mainly because it has become the only significant export England has. You do know it rains a lot there, right?
Everything has become nationalized including the meatloaf: National Meat Loaf which she claims everyone likes, the current staple food that has replaced bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Why? Because Europe is no longer able to import food since "everyone has their own people to feed."
"The European Community is in disarray and, though not formally disbanded, might as well be: it can no longer enforce its rulings through financial penalties and has no other means of doing so."
I have highlighted the political/economic satire. But know this is a novel with a wonderful cast which include the narrator's daughters, their children, their several former husbands and lovers, her former husband and lovers. And we are constantly aware that she is about to lose her home, the one she has had to fight for in divorce court, the one she has paid for from selling her novels, back when she was a popular writer. Yes, there is lots of laugh at although darkly.
And I for one am becoming more and more convinced that by 1213 we might be living under the constant surveillance of Big Brother as our politicians cave in even more to Big Brother CEOs.
In a world much like our own, but darker, Weldon imagines the life her younger, stillborn sister Frances might have had in an Orwellian 2013 England where the economy has truly tanked. The National Unity Government (NUG), "composed not of politicians but of sociologists and therapists," distributes National Meatloaf ("suitable for vegetarians") and monitors the mostly unemployed populace with CiviCams.

Frances, the narrator, 80, hides from the bailiffs come to repossess the house and recalls her youth, when she stole two of her sister's boyfriends and married one, became a famous novelist (while sister Fay moved to Australia and became a cookbook writer), had two daughters, and got divorced and remarried and divorced again.

She made a pile of money but heady splurging and bad investments have ruined her and now the bank wants the house she has lived in for 40-plus years. Her neighbors are gone, their houses abandoned, and NUG has commandeered the back gardens for a communal vegetable plot. Her son-in-law, a former research scientist, is now climbing the ranks of the National Institute for Food Excellence (NIFE) and keeps her in the occasional pound of real coffee or jug of milk.

In between reminiscences, regrets and might-have-beens, Frances faces the real-time antics of her grandchildren and cohorts, who invade her house as a meeting place for (possibly) terrorist activities and treat her with the timeless disregard of youth.

Weldon's sharp wit spares neither past nor present, from the Sexual Revolution and leftist politics of the 60s and 70s to the excesses of the 2000s and their aftermath: the Shock, the Crunch, the Recovery, the Fall, the Crisis and the Bite.

Frances' voice is sardonic, but tempered with the wisdom of age. Her satirical view spares herself no more than her family and fellow citizens. Vivid urban details of crumbling infrastructure, patriarchal rule and paranoia are as funny as they are realistic and chilling. Weldon fans will find her at the top of her game.
The only ridiculous aspect of this edition is the cover; in reality Chalcot Crescent is akin to a pleasantly Bohemian English village that enjoys a splendid urban location in the middle of London. The stonking great mansion flats in the image bear no resemblance to the real thing whatsoever.