Cover image for Mantrapped
Weldon, Fay.
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Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
267 pages ; 22 cm
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After brushing past each other on the stairs above their local laundromat, Trice and Peter instantly and mysteriously switch souls. But none of this is half as awkward as when they both come home to face Peter's wife and have to decide who will sleep where.

Author Notes

Fay Weldon was born in Worcester, England on September 22, 1931. She read economics and psychology at the University of St. Andrews. She worked as a propaganda writer for the British Foreign Office and then as an advertising copywriter for various firms in London before making writing a full-time career.

Her work includes over twenty novels, five collections of short stories, several children's books, non-fiction books, and a number of plays written for television, radio and the stage. Her collections of short stories include Mischief and Nothing to Wear and Nowhere to Hide. She wrote a memoir entitled Auto Da Fay and non-fiction book entitled What Makes Women Happy. She wrote the pilot episode for the television series Upstairs Downstairs.

Her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke, was published in 1967. Her other novels include Praxis, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Puffball, Rhode Island Blues, Mantrapped, She May Not Leave, The Spa Decameron, Habits of the House, Long Live the King, and The New Countess. Wicked Women won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. She was awarded a CBE in 2001.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Things are never simple with Weldon. She created a firestorm with her last novel, The Bulgari Connection 0 (2001), for accepting money from Bulgari in return for product placement. Now, after a fashion, she offers a follow-up to her wonderfully engaging memoir, Auto da Fay0 BKL Mr 15 03. In alternate chapters, she weaves together a novella about gender switching with autobiographical passages mainly concerned with the dissolution of her 30-year marriage. Some readers may wish for a more straight-ahead account of Weldon's marital woes, but perhaps out of boredom with her own life story or perhaps out of a desire to skirt painful personal issues, she has decided to pair her nonchronological reminiscences with a fictional take on gender roles. When Trisha and Peter pass each other on the stairs of a Laundromat, they mysteriously switch souls. Health fanatic Peter suddenly finds himself in the much older body of a dissolute free spirit, while Trisha feels liberated by her new trim form. However, Peter's wife is at first appalled and then intrigued by the many sexual ramifications of the mix-up. Surprisingly enough, this odd hodgepodge of fact and fiction is tremendously fun to read, due, in part, to Weldon's high amusement at her own shortcomings and her continuing ability to confound expectations. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

After many novels, screenplays, essays and an acclaimed memoir, Auto da Fay, Weldon now adds "reality novel" to her repertoire. Presented as a continuation of Auto da Fay, the book is a curious hybrid: something Weldon calls "novel and autobiography side by side, leaping from one to the other, but related." Its fictional protagonist is 44-year-old Trisha, who won the lottery, spent her fortune and is now relegated to niggling London poverty. Things take a turn for the worse when her soul exchanges bodies with that of young, handsome Peter. Now Doralee, Peter's life partner, is left to sort out an impossible situation, bemoaning the fact that there's no support group "for the transfer of your partner's being into someone else's shoddy, badly-looked-after body." These episodes are vintage Weldon: satirical, hyper-realistic and punctuated by biting truths. The autobiographical sections, interleaved with Trisha's story, are occasionally retreads of material from the previous volume, but mostly recount Weldon's further adventures as she juggles family and career. Weldon reveals the reality of her life behind her fiction, proving that "nearly everything you write about, you realize one day, has its roots somewhere in the past." Consider this the ultimate version of life and art imitating one another. Agent, Carlisle & Company. (Dec.) Forecast: Though fans of Weldon will be pleased, turning newcomers and fiction/memoir traditionalists on to this book may take more cajoling. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gender- and genre-bending from the wicked Weldon. When Trisha and Peter pass on the stairs, their souls somehow switch bodies which is very hard to explain to Peter's wife. Meanwhile, Weldon drops in reflections on her own life. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.