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Fay Weldon

From Academic Kids

Fay Weldon (born September 22, 1931) is a British novelist, short story writer, playwright and essayist whose work has been associated with the cause of feminism. In her fiction, Weldon typically portrays contemporary women who find themselves trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of Western, in particular British, society.

Weldon was born Franklin Birkinshaw in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, England to a literary family, with both her maternal grandfather, Edgar Jepson (1863-1938), and her own mother Margaret writing novels (the latter under the nom de plume Pearl Bellairs, after a character from Huxley's 1922 novel Crome Yellow). Weldon spent the first years of her life in Auckland, New Zealand, where her father worked as a doctor, but at the age of 14, after her parents' divorce, moved to England with her mother and her sister Jane, never to see her father again.

She went to St Andrews, Scotland to study psychology and economics but moved to London after giving birth to an illegitimate child. Soon afterwards she married her first husband, Ronald Bateman, a teacher 20 years her senior and not the natural father of her son, and started to live in Acton, London. The couple got a divorce after only two years. To support herself and her son, who was now going to school, Weldon started working in the advertising industry. As Head of Copywriting at one point she was responsible for publicising the phrase "Go to work on an egg".

At 29 she met Ronald Weldon, an antiques dealer. They married and, starting in 1963, produced three more sons. It was during her second pregnancy that Weldon began writing for radio and television. A few years later, in 1967, she published her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke. For the next 30 years she built a very successful career, publishing over 20 novels, collections of short stories, television movies, newspaper and magazine articles and becoming a well-known face and voice on the BBC.

In 1994, Ronald and Fay Weldon divorced. She subsequently married Nick Fox, a poet, with whom she currently lives in Hampstead, London.

Novels

Weldon published an autobiography of her early years, Auto de Fay, in 2002 (an allusion to auto de fe).

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