Leader of the Band by Fay Weldon
(King Penguin)

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Fay Weldon mines the fields of sexuality, procreation, and astronomy in her liberating novel about the ongoing quest for self-fulfillment
Sandra Harris—wife, astronomer (known for discovering the planet Athena), television phenomenon, and “professional searcher after truth”—has had an epiphany. She leaves her boring attorney husband and runs off with Mad Jack Stubbs, her trumpet-playing lover, and his groupie entourage, for a tour of Southern France. Pursued by her husband, Mad Jack’s wife, and the paparazzi, Sandra lives entirely for the moment—and great sex. In between, she ponders her past (institutionalized mother, Nazi war criminal father) while trying to ignore the deafening tick of her biological clock. Fay Weldon’s novel is a mirror held up to the face of its reader; an illuminating, reflective tale about sex, ambition, and the love that makes fools of us all.

About Fay Weldon

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Fay Weldon was born in Worcester, England, where her father was a physician and her mother a writer. She was educated at the University of St. Andrews, from which she received her M.A. in 1954. Six years later, she married Ronald Weldon. Weldon 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. Since the mid-1960's she has written novels, short stories, and radio and television plays. The central subject of all Weldon's writing is the experience of women, especially their relationships with men. According to Weldon, "Women must ask themselves: What is it that will give me fulfillment? That's the serious question I'm attempting to answer." Despite her concern with women, Weldon has been criticized by some feminist groups for apparently presenting fictional women with very limited options. Weldon's style is marked by a careful attention to detail, vivid images, a sharp wit, and a wry sense of humor. Although most of her male characters are disagreeable, they are not the true villains of her novels. Her villains are, in fact, the traditional roles that men and women play. Weldon looks at women in many different circumstances - at work, at home, at play, in politics, and especially in love - and shows not only how they are manipulated by men, but also how they allow themselves to be manipulated. Recently, Weldon's novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1983) has been made into a popular movie. It was formerly a successful television miniseries.
Published May 14, 2013 by Open Road Media. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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This cheeky little novel reads like a postcard from Weldon gone on holiday, frolicking with fiction, dashing off diatribes on everything from cosmology to sex.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Leader of the Band (King Peng...

Publishers Weekly

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In prose as lively and runaway as her heroine, Weldon ( The Hearts and Minds of Men ) weighs love and lust against the impulse to have children. ``Starlady Sandra'' is a popular TV astronomer, famous

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