Fay Weldon, the British novelist, dies aged 91

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Fay Weldon, the author of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, has died at the age of 91.

The British-born novelist, essayist and playwright wrote more than 30 books in a career spanning decades, focusing on women, class and revolution.

A family statement said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fay Weldon (CBE), author, essayist and playwright.

“She died peacefully this morning 4 January 2023.”

Weldon rose to fame with The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, published in 1983, which followed the character of Ruth Patchett, a woman who sought revenge after discovering her husband was dating an elegant novelist.

It went on to become a BBC TV series starring Dennis Waterman, Patricia Hodge and Miriam Margolyes. In the US, it was adapted into a film titled She Devil starring Meryl Streep.

Recalling the process of writing the novel, she told the New York Times: “It was written as the Dickens novels were written… You made it up as you went along, confined by the structure of the story, which is going to go on for you don’t know how long – but you have to be able to bring it to an end with three weeks’ warning.”

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