Mantrapped by Fey Weldon - review by Diana Athill

Diana Athill

You’re Meant to Be Kind to Your Readers

Mantrapped

By

Fourth Estate 272pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

MANTRAPPED IS THE second volume of Fay Weldon's autobiography, and I can well imagine that many readers, having enjoyed the first volume, Auto da Fay, as much as I did, will be looking forward to it. They will find, perhaps with pleasure, perhaps not, that this time she has gone about her task in a different way. She describes it thus: 'Auto da Fay was conventional enough, other than when I could no longer bear to incorporate certain sections of my past, I slipped into the third person for a time. This book is the second volume, and presents novel and autobiography side by side, leaping from one to the other, but related.'

This is accurate ... but what struck me about it was that it comes on page 163 of the story, by which time any reader who hasn't worked out that the book is as she describes it must have fallen on his/her head.

And on page 74: 'To re-cap: Doralee has

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