Fay Weldon passed away on 4 January. She was 91. I can’t say that I knew her, but I did meet her in 2009 and spent some time in her delightful company in Oslo while we were staying at the magical Aschehoug villa. Fay and André shared the same Norwegian publisher and were participating in a few literary events to promote their latest books at the time. It was just after Fay’s 78th birthday and engaging with her I remember thinking, ‘I want to be always as full of life and wonder as you are, but especially when I am older.’
Living and travelling with André, I’d had the opportunity of meeting many of my literary heroes. In most cases, these encounters had been sheer pleasure. And meeting Fay Weldon definitely belongs to these memories. She was kind and funny and generous. She made me feel like one of ‘us’, a writer, even though I was a complete nobody, making only my first steps in writing and publishing fiction back then. Not all established authors show this kind of generosity of spirit when it comes to emerging writers, but it can be such a gift. I remember and treasure it. And I am grateful for all the hours I spent in Fay Weldon’s literary company, reading her books which, even now when their author has joined the Great Library in the Sky, will always remind me of the inspiring woman who wrote them.