How Do You Pronounce Nulliparous? Cover Image

About the Author: Zoë Fairbairns

Zoe Fairbairns was born in England on 20 December 1948, and educated at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the College of William and Mary, USA. She has worked as a freelance journalist and a creative writing tutor, and is the former poetry editor of Spare Rib. She has also held appointments as Writer in Residence at Bromley Schools (1981-3 and 1985-9), Deakin University, Geelong, Australia (1983), Sunderland Polytechnic (1983-5) and Surrey County Council (1989).

Her first novel, Live as Family, written when she was seventeen, was published in 1968, and her second, Down: An Explanation (1969), was published a year later while she was still at university. Both novels employ a first-person narrative to explore issues of personal and community responsibility. Her short stories have been included in many anthologies, including Tales I Tell My Mother: A Collection of Feminist Short Stories (1978) and Brilliant Careers (2000). She has also contributed to poetry anthologies, including The Faber Book of Blue Verse (1990). In the 1970s her writing centred on environmental and social concerns, and she produced reports for CND and Shelter. In 1984, with James Cameron, she published Peace Moves: Nuclear Protest in the 1980s, an account of the anti-nuclear protest movement.

Benefits (1979), a tense, dystopian novel, marked her return to fiction and to women's issues, and five further novels, which consolidated her reputation as a feminist writer, followed: Stand we at Last (1983), spans 120 years and three continents and chronicles the lives of five generations of women against a background of Victorian repression, prostitution, the suffragette movement, the devastation of war and the rise of the women's movement; Here Today (1984), which was awarded the 1985 Fawcett Society Book Prize, is an exploration of feminist themes in a crime setting; Closing (1987), is a sharp portrait of working women caught between feminisim and Thatcherism; and Daddy's Girls (1992), is a saga of three sisters in a family full of guilty secrets. Zoe Fairbairns' most recent novel, Other Names, was published in 1998. Her latest book is a collection of short stories, How Do You Pronounce Nulliparous? (2004).

From the author's website:
England, 1948.

Second of three daughters.

Conscientious. Furious. Funny. Gave great parties. Had huge rows. Got divorced.

Born with an open mind. Christened into Church of England. Educated by Catholic nuns. (Don’t ask. Or Click here) Secularist.

Employment status? (Employed full-time, employed part-time, unemployed, self-employed, retired?)
All of the above.

Blog, Twitter, Facebook?
None of the above. But I welcome friendly, interesting, emails from friendly, interesting people, and I do my best to reply in kind.

Contact her at:

Other books by Zoë Fairbairns

How Do You Pronounce Nulliparous? Cover Image

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Paperback, by Five Leaves Publications

ISBN10: 0907123155 | ISBN13: 9780907123156

These stories, set mainly in London and its more-or-less fashionable suburbs, occupy the spaces between words and actions, beliefs and realities. A 40-year-old woman who has never had children and never wanted to, revisits her decision. A little girl wonders why she attends a school run by a religion that neither she nor her parents belong to. 50-something lefties discover things that they might have preferred not to know about their pensions. A woman goes to meet her partner’s new love, and tries to be friendly.

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