Zoe Fairbairns Biography
(1948– ), Benefits, Stand We at Last, Here Today, Closing, Daddy's Girls
British novelist, born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, educated at St Andrews University, Scotland. Fairbairns read history at university, and a historian's sensibility may be detected in her preference for a large canvas which crosses time and place to intertwine the experiences of women from different generations and backgrounds. Fairbairns specializes in reworking popular genre from a feminist perspective. In her futuristic dystopia Benefits (1979), feminist revolution is suppressed by a government bent on returning women to their reproductive role. Stand We at Last (1983) adapts the family saga to encompass a century of women's struggles for emancipation. Here Today (1984) takes the crime thriller into the workaday world of the office ‘temp’; Closing (1987) turns an ironic lens on the ‘Superwomen’ of blockbuster fiction; while Daddy's Girls (1991) examines three sisters' teenage years during three political periods. Her novels are notable for their capacity to make current feminist debates accessible to a wide audience. Her short stories have appeared in Tales I Tell My Mother (1978), by Fairbairns et al., and More Tales I Tell My Mother (1987).