Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Nobody Likes Me ~ Fay Weldon

Last night I read a story by Fay Weldon to one of my children before they went to sleep. I bought the book, Nobody Likes Me, several years ago when I was struggling with one of my boys: I wondered if he felt that nobody liked him. The book tells the story of a small boy who comes home from school in a bad mood, tearing up a party invitation and splashing his sister with mud along the way. When he gets home he goes to his room where he shouts and growls for a while before falling asleep under the bed. During his dreams you get an idea of what it might be that is bothering him. Weldon’s prose is simple and effective. She uses a lot of colour when describing things and the illustrations carefully reflect this.

It was only as I put the book away that I recalled that it was by Weldon, and as I squeezed it back onto the shelf, I had to smile. Fay Weldon was a Booker Prize judge in 1983. When it was time to decide the winner, she fatally joked that she couldn’t make a decision without her husband’s help. The men present believed her. One of the claimed afterwards, ‘Fay had to decide but couldn’t...she looked at me blankly [and said] “at home I never make decisions; my husband makes them all” ’ (Martyn Goff). Twenty-five years later, Weldon noted ‘one should never make jokes in the presence of the police, security or at a Booker prize judging.' As I jammed Weldon’s book between a couple of pristine, less loved specimens, I wondered what sort of men readily believe that an author of 21 novels is incapable of making decisions? And I wondered too if it might be rather hard work to like them.

1 comment: