Sunday, November 1, The Beacon, 2.30pm: With a 50-year writing career under her belt – who could be better equipped than Fay Weldon, one of Britain’s foremost novelists, to headline this year’s fabulous festival?
Weldon will be appearing at The Beacon, Wantage, on Sunday, November 1 at 2.30pm – and local author Mary Loudon will be on hand to tease out her thoughts on a half century of writing contemporary fiction.
Weldon will be presenting Mischief a collection of 21 of her favourite short stories, which include a recently written novella The Ted Dreams – a ghost story for the age of cyber culture, big pharma and surveillance.
The stories represent a powerful historical record of how society has changed, particularly for women and that ever-changing relationship front – the war between the sexes.
As she observes in her introduction to Mischief: ‘During the four decades over which these stories were written, the relationship between men and women has changed out of all recognition.
‘In the seventies, women still endured the domestic tyranny of men, in the eighties we found our self-esteem, in the nineties we lifted our heads and looked about, and in the noughties – well, we went to work. We had to.’
Now in her ninth decade, Fay Weldon remains one of the most insightful of contemporary chroniclers – full of observation and wit and whose every story is endlessly discussed and argued over.
Weldon started out as an advertising copywriter and her credits as a writer include classics, such as The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and The Cloning of Joanna May. In 2001, Fay Weldon was awarded a CBE for services to literature.
Interviewing Fay Weldon is Wantage author Mary Loudon, writer of four non-fiction books: Relative Stranger, A Sister’s Life After Death; Secrets & Lives, Middle England Revealed; Revelations, The Clergy Questioned and Unveiled, Nuns Talking. She has also contributed to six anthologies.
Loudon has won four writer’s prizes, has been short and long-listed for the MIND Book of the Year award, and the Richard and Judy Book of the Year award, respectively.
Loudon’s books have been published in 12 countries. Film rights for her last book, Relative Stranger, have been optioned in America. She has made over 200 radio and television appearances, been a Whitbread Prize judge and is a regular public speaker.
Mary Loudon is currently writing a novel. She lives in Wantage, and Powys, mid-Wales, with her husband Andrew St George and their three daughters.
Sunday, November 1. 2.30pm. The Beacon, Wantage. Tickets: £10
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
Online sales close on October 30.