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Two Outstanding Authors, Champagne Reception and Three Course Lunch

Portrait photograph of author Fay Weldon

What Makes Women Happy by Fay Weldon.

What makes women happy? Nothing, for more than ten minutes at a time, so stop worrying. In this new book, Fay Weldon offers wisdom gleaned from a remarkable life, a brilliantly successful career and a fair share of trouble. She explores what makes women happy; how our lives, jobs, families, bodies, desires, morals and responsibilities affect that happiness, and what we can do to lead more rounded and desirable lives. As she delivers the verdicts, she also delivers short stories, or perhaps parables, to prove her points. To be good, she concludes, is to be happy, to be happy is to be good. The Victorians had it right.

A blend of philosophy, storytelling and self-help, this inspirational work shows Weldon at the peak of her creative powers, as brisk, stylish and entertaining as ever.

Fay Weldon is a novelist, screenwriter and cultural journalist. Her novels include The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Puffball, Big Women and Rhode Island Blues. She has also published her autobiography Auto da Fay. Her most recent book was the critically acclaimed novel She May Not Leave. She lives in Dorset.

'She merges a quintessential, zappy sixties sharpness with the ability to update her feel for the pulse of whatever is hip or chic or symbolic of each dawning era. Weldon oozes readability... She should be cloned.'
The Scotsman

'Fay Weldon is a national treasure.'
Literary Review

'One of the most prolific, entertaining and provocative of contemporary women writers.'
Sunday Telegraph

'When she's on form — marshalling those elegant, deadly, sentences — there's simply no touching Weldon as a writer.'
Observer

Portrait photograph of author Maggie O'Farrell

The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell

Set between the 1930s and the present, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a powerful meditation on female madness and the fragile fate of women dependent on the accidents of birth, place and time. It is the story of Esme, a woman banished to an asylum and completely erased out of her family's history for failing to conform to the conventions of the time. The family secrets come to light when, sixty years later, she is released from care, and a young woman, Iris Lockhart, discovers the great aunt she never knew she had.

The mystery that unfolds is the heartbreaking tale of two sisters in colonial India and 1930s Edinburgh — of the loneliness that binds them together and the rivalries that drive them apart leading one of them to a shocking betrayal. Above all, it is the story of Esme, a fiercely intelligent, unconventional young woman and of the terrible price she is made to pay for her family's unhappiness.

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of three previous novels, After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover and The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award. She lives in Edinburgh.

'Maggie O'Farrell has rapidly established herself as one of our most interesting and popular novelists... richly imaginative... superb'
Barbara Trapido, Independent

'O'Farrell's storytelling is masterly and multi-layered... the writing is spare and elegant, the characters are supremely well-realised, the story is terrific'
Cressida Connolly, Daily Telegraph

'A born novelist'
Ali Smith, Scotland on Sunday

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