Fay Weldon’s twenty-ninth novel, Chalcot Crescent is a wickedly witty and prophetic portrait of the possible future of capitalism. It is the imagined life of Frances, Fay Weldon’s actual younger sister who did not survive her birth. The year is 2013 and eighty-year-old Frances (has-been writer, one-time national treasure) is sitting on the stairs of Number 3, Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill in London. While she waits for the debt collectors pounding on her front door to give up and leave, Frances writes. She writes about the boyfriends she borrowed and the husband she stole from her sister, about her two daughters and their children.
Frances writes about the Shock, the Crunch, the Squeeze, the Recovery, the Fall, the Crisis and the Bite, about the authoritarian National Unity Government, about ration books, power shortages, and the politically regressive Neighborhood Watch. As she writes, her grandson, who lives in her attic, cooks up a plot against the dictatorial government. At once funny and terrifying, Chalcot Crescent is both a satirical warning and a reflection on a life never lived.
A novelist, playwright and essayist, Fay Weldon is best known for her novels The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Praxis, and Worst Fears. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in 1990, and was awarded a CBE from the Queen in 2001. In 2006, Weldon was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University in West London. She lives in Dorset with her husband, the poet Nick Fox.