Chalcot Crescent, By Fay Weldon

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Fay Weldon is one of the few novelists who can make the dystopian near-future a funny and delightful place to be.

Set in an "alternative universe which closely mirrors our own", her 29th novel tells the story of Frances, Weldon's might-have-been younger sister if her mother hadn't miscarried.

It's 2013 and the country has gone to the dogs. Resources are short, and the population is living on National Meat Loaf.

The 80-year-old Frances's fiction, once popular for celebrating the feminist cause, is no longer published, but she continues to write.

As she looks back on 50 years in Chalcot Crescent, she analyses the fates of her family, lovers and friends.

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