Fay Weldon, British novelist known for works including The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil, died Wednesday at the age of 91.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fay Weldon (CBE), author, essayist and playwright. She died peacefully this morning 4th January 2023,” her agent tweeted the family statement on Wednesday.
A cause of death was not revealed.
In tribute the Booker Prize handle tweeted: “We are saddened to hear that the brilliant Fay Weldon has died. As well as being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1979, she was a judge in 1983 and delivered one of the most memorable speeches in Booker history. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Who was Fay Weldon?
Fay Weldon was born Franklin Birkinshaw to a literary family in Birmingham, England, on September 22, 1931. Her maternal grandfather, Edgar Jepson (1863–1938), her uncle Selwyn Jepson and her mother Margaret Jepson wrote novels.
She grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, where her father, Frank Thornton Birkinshaw, worked as a doctor. In 1936, her parents agreed to separate, later divorcing (1940).
She started her career with temporary jobs as a waitress and hospital ward orderly before working as a clerk for the Foreign Office. Later she took a job with Crawford’s Advertising Agency, where she worked with the writer Elizabeth Smart.
Her first novel, The Fat Woman’s Joke, was published in 1967 and she was shortlisted for the Booker and Whitbread literature prizes for her novels Praxis (1979) and Worst Fears (1996), respectively.
Weldon wrote some 30 novels and several pieces for television. Her book “She-Devil” (1989) is a Golden Globe-nominated film by Susan Seidelman, starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr.