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The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman


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Sue Townsend is the author of the Adrian Mole novels.

About the Author

Sue Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946. Despite not learning to read until the age of eight, leaving school at fifteen with no qualifications and having three children by the time she was in her mid-twenties, she always found time to read widely. She also wrote secretly for twenty years. After joining a writers' group at The Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, she won a Thames Television award for her first play, Womberang, and became a professional playwright and novelist. After the publication of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 133/4, Sue continued to make the nation laugh and prick its conscience. She wrote seven further volumes of Adrian's diaries and five other popular novels - including The Queen and I, Number Ten and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year - and numerous well received plays. Sue passed away in 2014 at the age of sixty-eight. She remains widely regarded as Britain's favourite comic writer.


Townsend is perhaps best known in the United States as a novelist, the creator of Adrian Mole (The Adrian Mole Diaries) and chronicler, sort of, of the Royal Family (The Queen and I). She also writes a monthly 800-word column for Sainsbury's magazine in which she sets down her observations on whatever concerns her at the moment. In the preface, she says she's broken the rules she set for herself: not to exploit members of her family, not to write about dogs or cats, not to quote taxi drivers, and not to use "I, me, myself." We learn about her husband, their children, their pets, and their vacations. (The Greek taxi driver told her that the famous novelist he'd driven had talked to him "like a dog." She wrote about it; the novelist complained.) Townsend pokes wryly at situations she confronts-coping with talking books when she is temporarily blind, eating at a Spanish restaurant that doesn't serve paella (and has Israeli waiters), and encountering a British woman in her creative-writing class who has never heard of Winnie the Pooh. Carolyn Oldershaw reads crisply and clearly, and the dramatic pauses are well paced. Recommended for public libraries.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Full of... hilarious asides on the absurdities of domestic existence...what a fantastic advertisement for middle-age - it can't be bad if it's this funny' Heat

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