British novelist Fay Weldon dead at 91

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Jan. 4 (UPI) — Fay Weldon, best known for her 1983 novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, died on Wednesday at her Northampton, U.K., home at the age of 91, her son Dan Weldon has confirmed.

Weldon, who started her writing career in television, went on to publish 31 novels throughout her 55-year writing career. Her 1979 novel Praxis was nominated for the Booker Prize, and in 1989 she won the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize for her novel The Heart of the Country.

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Weldon continued writing for television after becoming a novelist and In 1971 she won a Writers Guild award for Best British TV Series Script for an episode of Upstairs, Downstairs. Weldon also wrote the script for a 1980 BBC miniseries adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice. The Life and Loves of a She-Devil was adapted into a television series for BBC in 1986.

Weldon was known for controversial statements, once declaring that 60% of what she told the media was false and drawing the ire of feminists by saying that “women diminish men in the way men used to diminish women.” She also attracted controversy after a 1998 interview in which she told the Radio Times that rape “isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a woman if you’re safe, alive and unmarked after the event.” While Weldon once self-identified as a feminist she later said she believed feminism only benefitted women under 30.

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Weldon is survived by her children Nicholas, Sam, Tom and Dan.

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