One balmy evening in 1971, an unlikely group of women meet in a cramped living room in the suburbs of London. There's Layla, a sexy, irreverent bombshell; Alice, a serious academic; Zoe, a new mother who's frightened of her feminist-hating husband; Stephanie, a pretty, soft-spoken wife of a womanizing antiques dealer; and Nancy, newly single after leaving her no-sex- before-marriage fiancé at their London youth hostel. All twenty-something, all fed up with their lives and their men, they decide to form Medusa, a feminist publishing house.
Big Girl's Don't Cry is a comedy in the classic Weldon tradition. Against the backdrop of failing families, husband swapping, and suburban tedium, Big Girl's Don't Cry chronicles five women's attempts and failures to create a new life. In her most refreshing novel ever, Fay Weldon has written a farcical story about women who -new politics aside- can't quite see past the allure of power and bad men.
The world envied them, derided them, adored, loathed and pitied them by turns - these women who were larger than life. Layla, Stephanie, Alice, Nancy and company - a small, vivid group of wild livers, free-thinkers, lusters after life, sex and experience, who in the last decades of the century turned the world inside out and upside down. Unable to change themselves, they turned their attention to society, and set about changing that, for good or bad.
If in achieving so much they all but destroyed themselves, who should be surprised? Being flawed, they were the stuff of tragedy as well as triumph. They walked amongst ordinary mortals like goddesses down from Mount Olympus, without so much as deigning to notice their own difference. 'Who, me?' they'd enquire, handed doctorate or writ. 'Little me?'
Others described them as feminists, but they were never quite in step; too far in front to notice what the rest were doing. Layla, Stephanie, Alice, Nancy and ...
If you liked Big Girls Don't Cry, try these:
Female Intelligence is a hilarious look at our inability to bridge the communication gap between men and women, despite all the Mars/Venus books on the market.
Cheryl Benard's deftly comic novel gives us a chance to envision a world designed by women.... It's 2000 something, the world has just been taken over by women, and things are wonderful. Meanwhile, a secret men's movement, is planning a violent uprising.
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