Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Chalcot Crescent

Chalcot Crescent

by Fay Weldon

See All Formats & Editions

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weldon (Worst Fears) returns in fine, sharp form in this mischievous dystopian tale. By 2013, capitalism has collapsed in Europe, and England has turned to protectionist policies, communal farms, and an intrusive National Unity Government that feeds its citizens National Meat Loaf and monitors people by street-corner CiviCams. In this bleak near-future, Frances Prideaux, once a successful writer of feminist novels and a proud product of the era of sexual liberation, is rehashing the sins of her past. As bailiffs try to repossess her house, Frances tells the story of her life--how she married her sister's boyfriend; rejected her stepson Henry, the revolution's creepily austere leader; and squandered her fortune and influence--and tries to keep tabs on her grandson, Amos, who is busy plotting against the government with his cohorts from Redpeace. This marvelously sardonic work shows a future that is all too close to reality, where family resentments and grim history are inextricable. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Weldon (The Life and Loves of a She-Devil) invents a life in an easily imagined near future for her younger sister who did not survive birth—her story here closely resembles Weldon's own. At 80, once-popular novelist Frances Prideaux is trapped on the main floor of her London house with failing knees, while her nephew and nieces plot revolution on her upper floors through their participation in Redpeace, a splinter group of Greenpeace. Looking back over her own history, Frances name-drops her famous literary friends, remembers past lovers, and grapples with whom she can trust in the new world order. This is an England of scarcity—food, water, and power shortages necessitate a Big Brother-style National Unity Government (NUG) to monitor the use of precious resources through tightly regulated water rationing, communal gardens, and the widespread distribution of a NUG-sanctioned meatloaf. VERDICT What Margaret Atwood did for the future of reproduction, Weldon plausibly does here for food production. A rollicking story that may inspire readers to greener habits before the apocalypse.—Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
Kirkus Reviews

For her 29th novel, a long-celebrated British-based writer delivers a combined fictional memoir and prescient alternative history.

Herself a writer nearing her 80s, Weldon (The Stepmother's Diary, 2008, etc.) here introduces an 80-plus-year-old alter-ego sister who never existed, reviewing life from the perspective of post–financial-meltdown London, now ruled by a National Unity Government presiding over power cuts, water shortages and the National Meat Loaf, rumored to contain human protein. Frances Prideaux is a writer too, more successful than her sister Fay, whose career—in advertising, then writing lucrative, "allegedly feminist" books about women—echoes Weldon's own. Chalcot Crescent, the street where Frances has lived for half a century, represents both the high point of her existence, when she was happily married, successful and well connected, and now the low, with the bailiffs battering at her door. The bulk of the novel is a chronicle of the years in between and Prideaux's extended family, blended with Weldon's reliably acerbic social/political/gender critique. Later in the narrative, more space is devoted to a plot concerning Frances's relatives, terrorism and moves toward totalitarianism, but what's memorable is the author's mischievous, sinister/comic tone and deft, multilayered levels of fictionalization.

Impressive work from a seasoned cynic. As usual, Weldon's unique voice is the draw.

Tom De Haven
Despite a surfeit of the genre's requisite trappings (food rationing, secret police, universal surveillance, dopey government acronyms), Chalcot Crescent might be the least depressing—certainly it's the most cheerful—dystopian fiction I've ever come across, thanks to Weldon's slashing wit and her refusal to suffer fools gladly, no matter how despotic…And that’s just fine, because it's in Frances' satirical mini-rants, aphorisms and meandering recollections, not in the novel's apocalyptic litanies…that Chalcot Crescent comes alive, allowing Weldon to direct her famous she-devil snark at whatever targets strike her fancy: sex, marriage, children, careers, jealousy, aging.
—The New York Times

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Fay Weldon was raised in a household of women in New Zealand, and produced four sons of her own, as if to balance the gender count. After taking degrees in economics and psychology at the University of Edinburgh, she survived a decade of odd jobs and hard times, then began writing film and television scripts and fiction. Among her eighteen novels and short-story collections are Trouble, Life Force, The Cloning of Joanna May, Darcy's Utopia, The Shrapnel Academy, The Life and Loves of a She-devil, Leader of the Band, Puffball, and The Heart of the Country, winner of the 1989 Los Angeles Times Fiction Award. Fay Weldon lives in London and Somerset.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews