Fay Weldon's 'She Devil' sequel creates new villainness

Fay Weldon's 'She Devil' sequel creates new villainness

A ruthlessly ambitious young feminist who has “the kind of absolute understanding that she’s perfect and everything she says is right and everything she wants, she deserves,” is the scheming anti-heroine of Fay Weldon’s sequel to The Life and Loves of a She Devil, out in April from Head of Zeus.

Weldon's classic 1983 novel told of a put-upon wife, Ruth Patchett, who transformed herself into the “She Devil” her selfish husband described her as, as she pursued an elaborate revenge for his infidelity.

In the sequel, Weldon revisits the characters of her first book, explores the changes in feminism over the past decades, and creates a new monster for our times: Valerie Valeria, a young woman with such a sense of entitlement that when she likes the look of a handsome young man, she decides that – since she is a lesbian – he ought to undergo male to female transition.

Weldon says she was inspired to finally write the sequel after Germaine Greer’s controversial 2015 claim that  post-operative transgender women "are not women".

“I thought, ‘Well, that’s rather interesting. We think we are women, but are we? Gender becomes rather fluid. This is worth investigating',” Weldon told The Bookseller.    

Subscribers can read the full author interview here.