Mantrapped by Fay Weldon Harper Perennial, $116 You have to suspend disbelief for Mantrapped. A mixture of fact and fiction, it contains snippets from Fay Weldon's life - a boon for those who enjoyed her autobiography Auto Da Fay - as well as a fully fledged story about a pair of soul swappers. Calling it 'the new reality novel', Weldon sets up a plot that allows her, again, to dissect gender. Trisha is a has-been actress who, after a decade spent frittering away a lottery win, is broke. The only thing she takes with her when she loses her house is a mattress and the conviction that hard times won't last. Right she is, but not without the help of magical realism. As Trisha passes a tenant on the stairs of her building - Peter, a journalist - the two inexplicably transmogrify. The duo are then allowed a close look at life from the perspective of the other sex, a handy device that obviates comment from Weldon, a feminist. An added complication is Doralee, Peter's partner who must decide if she wants her man back. Odd as the 'novel' may seem, Weldon pulls off the experiment. Much has to do with her humour and insight, and her continued willingness to lay bare her eventful life.