Darcy's Utopia

Darcy's Utopia

by Fay Weldon
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Eleanor Darcy, a woman of marginal genealogy and looks that play better than they should, is married to the economist to whom the Prime Minister listens. Determined to rip apart the old order and start fresh, Eleanor becomes the serpent—or angel—who whispers utopian visions in Julian Darcy's ear.

With the husband in jail for imperiling the

Overview

Eleanor Darcy, a woman of marginal genealogy and looks that play better than they should, is married to the economist to whom the Prime Minister listens. Determined to rip apart the old order and start fresh, Eleanor becomes the serpent—or angel—who whispers utopian visions in Julian Darcy's ear.

With the husband in jail for imperiling the financial structure of the nation, Eleanor grants exclusive interviews to two journalists, Hugo Vansitart and Valerie Jones. Though they seem more preoccupied with each other than with their elusive subject, their goal is the same: to capture the essence of Eleanor Darcy. Hugo is loking for truth and pragmatism in Eleanor's vision: Valerie is in quest of the woman's struggle.

From their diverse portraits, Eleanor Darcy emerges, and so does her remarkable vision—complete with shockingly sensible ideas about child-rearing, abortion, education, integration, fundamentalism, economics—and, of course, a new twist on that old story of the sexes.

Fay Weldon has once again skewered the conventions of modern society with wit and wisdom, shining her flashlight on the threadbare morals of modern life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tart and witty … Darcy is nothing less than mesmerizing.… A tumultuously entertaining novel."
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A wonderfully rollicking, satiric, yet sensible book on how the world should be"
Charleston Evening Post

"Morality, manners, the power for good and evil of female intelligence and anger reach an apotheosis in the story of Eleanor Darcy.… Witty, deeply felt, provocative"
—Francine Prose, front page, Washington Post Book World

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``What is this thing called love,'' asks Weldon's latest flaky/wise heroine in the first sentence of this idiosyncratic exploration of economics, politics and spirituality in the Western world. Eleanor Darcy, a national figure whose economist husband was recently jailed for misuse of public funds, is being interviewed by Hugo Vansitart and Valerie Jones, two journalists who have fallen in love, precipitously, upon the eve of their respective assignments. ``In Darcy's Utopia. . . '' Eleanor declares continually as she describes for each writer her--or her husband's--vision of a world uncomplicated by either rules, monetary systems or families. Born to a teenager (whose mother eventually married Eleanor's father) and originally named Apricot, becoming Ellen when she wed her first husband, Eleanor has embraced Roman Catholicism and Marxism before grabbing onto utopianism. Meanwhile, Valerie and Hugo, living in a Holiday Inn, cope with the families they have left in response to their shared passion, which Weldon slyly suggests may have originated with the Devil. Although amorphous and inconclusive, the latest satire from the author of The Cloning of Joanna May is ambitious, provocative and unremittingly entertaining. (Mar.)
Library Journal
On the eve of interviewing the fabulous and elusive Eleanor Darcy, journalists Valerie and Hugo meet and shack up in a hotel on the dubious strength of Hugo's credit card. As Eleanor (nee Apricot Smith) expounds her utopian plans for religion, education, sex, and money, their spontaneous passion changes course. Weldon mingles tart social commentary and political satire in a novel that is both somber and very funny. The question and answer format is awkward, however; and the humor is very British. Weldon is the author of plays, nonfiction, and such novels as The Life and Loves of a She-devil. Buy this one where there is demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/90.-- Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140145410
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/1992
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.42(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Tart and witty … Darcy is nothing less than mesmerizing.… A tumultuously entertaining novel."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A wonderfully rollicking, satiric, yet sensible book on how the world should be"
Charleston Evening Post

"Morality, manners, the power for good and evil of female intelligence and anger reach an apotheosis in the story of Eleanor Darcy.… Witty, deeply felt, provocative"
—Francine Prose, front page, Washington Post Book World

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:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >