Fay Weldon

Letters to Alice

Taking its inspiration from Jane Austen’s relationship with her niece, Letters to Alice follows eighteen-year-old Alice and her “Aunt Fay,” whose letters preach the value of great art
With the dire warning, “You must read, Alice, before it’s too late,” Fay Weldon, or “Aunt Fay,” implores her “niece” to immerse herself in the works of enduring authors. Alternating between passages from Jane Austen’s novels and accounts of her own career, Weldon reveals the connections between art and life, and charts Alice’s trajectory from unpublished writer to celebrated author, her success ultimately outstripping that of her famous “aunt.” Letters to Alice puts Austen’s works into a contemporary perspective as it explores the craft of writing fiction, the pitfalls of publishing too early, the conventions that stifle the creative impulse, and more. In paying tribute to Austen, Weldon opens an illuminating window onto reading, writing, and why literature matters.
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