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Zoe Fairbairns Biography

(1948– ), Benefits, Stand We at Last, Here Today, Closing, Daddy's Girls

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Englefield Green Surrey to William Faulkner Biography

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).

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