Fay Weldon was born on September 22, 1931, in Birmingham, England to Franklin Birkinshaw, a member of a literary family. Her mother, Margaret Jepson, also had a background in literature and sometimes wrote novels under the pen name Pearl Bellairs, inspired by a character in an Aldous Huxley short story. Weldon’s maternal grandfather and uncle were also writers.
At the age of five, Weldon’s parents separated and eventually divorced in 1940. She was raised in Christchurch, New Zealand by her father, Frank Thornton Birkinshaw, a physician.
During the summers, she and her sister Jane would visit Auckland and Coromandel with their father. Weldon attended Christchurch Girls’ High School from 1944 to 1946.
Growing up in a literary household, it’s no surprise that Weldon eventually found success as a writer herself. She began her career as an advertising copywriter before establishing herself as a novelist and playwright. Despite being born in England, Weldon spent much of her childhood in New Zealand, which would later influence her writing.