LONDON — British author Fay Weldon, known for novels including “The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil”, has died, her family said Wednesday. She was 91.
Weldon was a playwright, screenwriter and a prolific novelist, producing 30 novels as well as short stories and plays written for television, radio and the stage. She was one of the writers on the popular 1970s drama series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” receiving an award from the Writers Guild of America for the show’s first episode.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fay Weldon (CBE), author, essayist and playwright. She died peacefully this morning January 4, 2023,” her family said in a statement released by her agent.
Much of Weldon’s fiction explored issues surrounding women’s relationships with men, children, parents and each other, including the 1971 “Down Among The Women” and “Female Friends,” published in 1975.
“The Life and Loves Of a She-Devil” was the story of an ugly woman who alters her body and her life to seek revenge on a philandering husband. It was adapted into a TV series as well as a film starring Meryl Streep.
Her 1978 novel, “Praxis,” was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction.
Born in September 1931, Weldon was brought up in New Zealand and returned to the U.K. as a child. She studied economics and psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London and as a journalist before moving on to work as an advertising copywriter.
She published her first novel, “The Fat Woman’s Joke,” in 1967.
Weldon was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature in 2001.