Sue Townsend


Sue Townsend

Infobox Writer
name = Sue Townsend


caption =
pseudonym =
birthdate = birth date and age|1946|4|2|df=y
birthplace = Leicester, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist,
Playwright,
Screenwriter,
Columnist
genre = Drama, Fiction, Screenplay
movement =
influences =
influenced =
website =

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend (born 2 April 1946) is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She has suffered from diabetes for many years, as a result of which she was registered blind in 2001, and has woven this theme into her work.

Biography

Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946 and went to Glen Hills Primary school, where the school secretary was Mrs Claricotes, a name she used for the school secretary in the books. Her father was a postman and she was the eldest of three sisters. After failing her 11-plus exam, Townsend then went to the secondary modern South Wigston High School. [cite web
url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2005/02/18/internationalwomensday_feature.shtml
title=Leicester's leading ladies
publisher=BBC
date=2005-02-18
accessdate=2008-02-01
last=Collier
first=Kate
] She left school at the age of 15 and worked in a variety of jobs including factory worker and shop assistant. She married a sheet-metal worker and had three children under five by the time she was 22. She joined a writers' group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester in her thirties. [cite web
url=http://thebookshow.skyarts.co.uk/authors/5478/sue_townsend.html
title=Sky Arts: The Book Show
publisher=Skyarts.co.uk
accessdate=2008-02-01
] cite web
url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2101-2399015,00.html
title=Sue Townsend
publisher=The Times
accessdate=2008-02-01
date=2006-10-15
last=White
first=Lesley
]

She has four children: Sean, Daniel, Victoria and Elizabeth.

At the time of writing the first Mole book, Sue Townsend was living on the Saffron Lane Estate, a stone's-throw away from the house in which gay playwright Joe Orton was brought up.

Awards

Simple timeline|event-title=Award
1981|Thames Television Playwright Award for Womberang
2003|Frink award [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2003_41_tue_03.shtml |title=Sue Townsend - Woman of the Year Award |publisher=BBC |date=2003-10-14 |accessdate=2008-02-01] [cite web |url=http://www.womenoftheyear.co.uk/woman-of-the-year.htm |title=Women of The Year Lunch and Assembly |publisher=womenoftheyear.co.uk |accessdate=2008-02-01]
2007|Two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Leicester and one from Loughborough University [cite web |url=http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/publicity/degree_days/2007/Summer/Townsend.html |title=Summer 2007 Oration - Sue Townsend |date=2007-07-20 |publisher=Loughborough University |accessdate=2008-02-01]
2007|James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin

Importance

"The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole" was reputedly based on her children's experiences at Mary Linwood Comprehensive School in Leicester. Several of the teachers who appear in the book (such as Ms Fossington-Gore and Mr Dock) are based on actual staff who worked at the school in the early 1980s. When the book was televised, it was mostly filmed at a different school nearby. Mary Linwood Comprehensive was closed in 1997.

The first two books in the series appealed to many readers as a realistic and humorous treatment of the inner life of an adolescent boy. They also captured something of the zeitgeist of Britain during the Thatcher period.

Works

Novels: Adrian Mole Series

* "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾" (1982), her best selling book, and the best-selling new British fiction book of the 1980s.
* "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole" (1984)
* "The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole" (1989)
* "Adrian Mole From Minor to Major" (1991) is an omnibus of the first three, and includes as a bonus the specially written "Adrian Mole and the Small Amphibians".
* "" (1993)
* "" (1999)
* "Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction" (2004)
* "Fact|date=August 2008" (2009)

Novels: Other Works

* "Rebuilding Coventry" (1988)
* "Mr Bevan's Dream" (1989)
* "The Queen and I" (1992), a story about the British royal family living a "normal" life on an urban housing estate following a republican revolution.
* "Ghost Children" (1997), a non-comedic novel
* "Number Ten" (2002)
* "Queen Camilla" (2006)

Plays

* "Womberang" (Soho Poly - 1979)
* "The Ghost of Daniel Lambert" (Leicester Haymarket Theatre - 1981) Theatre closed in January 2007
* "Dayroom" (Croydon Warehouse Theatre - 1981)
* "Captain Christmas and the Evil Adults" (Phoenix Arts Theatre - 1982) now known as the Phoenix Arts Centre
* "Bazaar and Rummage" (Royal Court Theatre - 1982)
* "Groping for Words" (Croydon Warehouse - 1983)
* "The Great Celestial Cow" (Royal Court Theatre and tour - 1984)
* "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4-The Play" (Leicester Phoenix - 1984) now know as Phoenix Arts Centre
* "Disneyland it Ain't" (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs - 1989)
* "Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes" (Library Theatre, Manchester - 1989)
* "The Queen and I" (Vaudeville Theatre - 1994, toured Australia in the summer of 1996 and was entitled The Royals Down Under)

Non-fiction

* "The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (2001)

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000049987,00.html Penguin Site]
* [http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=authC2D9C28A18dac23605uLr31DC862 British Council Contemporary Writers Site]

Persondata
NAME= Townsend, Sue
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Townsend, Susan Lillian
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English Novelist,, Playwright,, Screenwriter,, Columnist
DATE OF BIRTH= April 2, 1946
PLACE OF BIRTH= Leicester, England
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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