In tribute to Sue Townsend

In tribute to Sue Townsend

Sue Townsend’s hilarious, insightful Adrian Mole stories are classics. Her razor-sharp wit and astute observations probably summed up the Eighties better than anyone else and there’s no doubt that her books will be read as avidly by future generations as they have been by ours.

Like her legions of fans, I was saddened to hear the news of her death last night. I’m re-running this post from an interview she gave in March 2013 – in tribute to a truly original writer.

Sue Townsend doesn’t give many interviews so I was determined not to miss her appearance at the Oxford Literary Festival.

She’s 66 now, registered blind, confined to a wheelchair and suffered a stroke at Christmas. But for a whole glorious hour, her anecdotes about her childhood, her work and how she came to write her Adrian Mole books made the audience at the Sheldonian Theatre rock with laughter.

The session, skilfully led by Sunday Times chief fiction reviewer Peter Kemp, kicked off with Townsend’s recollections of her favourite childhood books.

She was a late reader and only learned to read...

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