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New Meetup: November's Post-Apocalyptic Book Discussion: Fay Weldon's Chalcott Crescent

From: Peter
Sent on: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:22 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Freebird Brooklyn Post-Apocalyptic Book Club Meetup!

What: November's Post-Apocalyptic Book Discussion: Fay Weldon's Chalcott Crescent

When: Thursday, November 18,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Freebird Books
123 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Our last book discussion of 2010 will be another comic novel--albeit a dystopian rather than post-apocalyptic work. Chalcot Crescent is a wickedly witty and prophetic portrait of the possible future of capitalism. It is the imagined life of Frances, Fay Weldon?s actual younger sister who did not survive her birth. The year is 2013 and eighty-year-old Frances (has-been writer, one-time national treasure) is sitting on the stairs of Number 3, Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill in London. While she waits for the debt collectors pounding on her front door to give up and leave, Frances writes. She writes about the boyfriends she borrowed and the husband she stole from her sister, about her two daughters and their children.

Frances writes about the Shock, the Crunch, the Squeeze, the Recovery, the Fall, the Crisis and the Bite, about the authoritarian National Unity Government, about ration books, power shortages, and the politically regressive Neighborhood Watch. As she writes, her grandson, who lives in her attic, cooks up a plot against the dictatorial government. At once funny and terrifying, Chalcot Crescent is both a satirical warning and a reflection on a life never lived.

In his review for the New York Times, Tom DeHaven called Chalcot Crescent "the least depressing ? certainly it?s the most cheerful ? dystopian fiction I?ve ever come across, thanks to Weldon?s slashing wit and her refusal to suffer fools gladly, no matter how despotic. Even in a world without reliable electricity or real coffee, life worth living goes bumbling on. This is not quite ?1984? with baggy pants, big shoes and a seltzer bottle, but close."

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