Behold, dear reader, Franklin Birkinshaw entering into this world of lies in the year of 1933 - or was it 1931? Born in Worcester, England, she was taken to New Zealand by her mother when her parents divorced. Or was it the other way around? Never you mind, the matter of importance in our tale lies with her growing up among women, ignoring for a long time the existence of the other sex.
Still she populates her stories mostly with women: Betrayed women, scheming women, innocent women, changing women. Men are around to be fought for, manipulated or played with, but never at the core of
things. Watch the playful Fay wreak havoc upon the head of her gullible heroine, gleefully crushing every precious bit of her life. Laugh out loud as the wicked godmother suddenly turns the tide, lets the protagonist sort out her troubles (most of the time) and rewards
the bad guys the punishment they deserve (and often more).
Although this is the basic formula for most of Weldon's vast number of fictions, it does not seem to get old, as she always finds another twist in her sleeve, so to speak, and twists it out with humour and surprise. Leaping from witchcraft in one story to genetic engineering in another, this two-tongued trickster always has a fresh way of telling her tale.
So easy to label as a feminist writer, she naughtily jumps in and defends masculinism, the movement for protection of men's rights. Or she raises a storm by saying rape is not the worst that can happen to a woman (in her opinion, death is). Satirical, crass, witty, clever - that is why I love her.
profound apologies to Ms. Weldon for pseudo-copying her writing style, which I,
her humble servant, can never equal (at least, that's what I say now).
A monstrous bibliography:
I have omitted several television plays and non-fiction. You will thank me for it.
The Fat Woman's Joke (US edition: ...and the wife ran away)(1968)
Down Among The Women (1972)
In Memoriam (1973)
Female Friends (1974)
The Tale Of Timothy Bagshott (1975)
Remember Me (1976)
Little Sisters (US edition: Words Of Advice) (1977)
Velvet Glove: Married Love (1977)
Life For Christine (1980)
Watching Me, Watching You (1981) (short stories)
The President's Child (1982)
The Life And Loves Of A She Devil (1983)
Polaris (1985) (short stories)
The Shrapnel Academy (1987)
The Rules Of Life (1987)
The Hearts And Lives Of Men (1988)
Wolf The Mechanical Dog (1988) (children's book)
The Heart Of The Country (1988)
Leader Of The Band (1989)
Party Puddle (1989) (children's book)
The Cloning Of Joanna May (1990)
Darcy's Utopia (1991)
[Moon Over Minneapolis Or Why She Couldn't Stay (1991) (short stories)
Life Force (1992)
Growing Rich (1992)
Affliction (US edition: Trouble) (1993)
Angel, All Innocence (1995) (short stories)
Worst Fears (1996)
Big Women (US edition: Big Girls Don't Cry) (1997)
Nobody Likes Me (1997) (children's book)
Wicked Women (1997) (short stories)
A Hard Time To Be A Father (1998) (short stories)
Rhode Island Blues (2000)
The Bulgari Connection (2001)
Nothing to Wear & Nowhwere to Hide (short stories)
In the end I ran out of books to read and finally when I got to my thirties,
started to write the books I wanted to read
because no-one else seemed to be writing them.
(from an interview at