... and the wife ran away
David MacKay Company, Inc.
First American Edition, 1968
First published in Great Britain as The Fat Woman's Joke
MacGibbon & Kee, 1967
From the book jacket:
Her husband is furious, her son is appalled, her best friend is curious. Her husband's young mistress blandly takes all the credit.
Esther Wells has run away from home. She has holed up in an ugly basement apartment, and she has revolted against life, men, marriage, and herself.
What will she do with her life? First she will go off her diet, then embark on an orgy of self-indulgence.
Meanwhile, outside her hideaway, husbands rampage (sexually and semantically), wives are unfaithful, secretaries take lovers, sons console their fathers' mistresses. …
But Esther won't budge. She is in motionless revolt. Anyway, no one wants to believe she's serious.
Not her husband. (He's embarrassed.) Not her son. (If he takes her seriously he might cry. He is too old to cry. He is old enough to sleep with girls.) Not her best friend. (But, just in case, she hurries to comfort Esther's husband.)
This is a novel - sexy, wise, and wicked - that really opens the box and lets the secrets out. It names the things that people do to, for, and about each other in love and marriage, which are so seldom called by their true names.
How Esther's revolt ends will come as more of a surprise to the reader than it did to those about her.
No other novel about love and marriage - oh, wives! oh, mothers! oh, mistresses! - has been this open and this sardonically funny in a long, long time.
Bio from the book jacket:
Fay Weldon was brought up in New Zealand, moved to England, and attended St. Andrews University in Scotland.
She has been writing most of her life - "in various garrets" and has written and sold a number of plays to TV. This is her first novel.
With her husband, who is an antiques dealer, and two children, she lives outside London and works as a copywriter for the London office of an American advertising agency.
BIBLIOGRAPHY | HOME