Entertainment & Arts

Sue Townsend signals end to Adrian Mole saga

Author Sue Townsend has revealed she is unlikely to write more than two further instalments in the Adrian Mole series.

Speaking at this year's Oxford Literary Festival, the 66-year-old said the publication of the next book had been pushed back as a result of a stroke she suffered last Christmas.

"It was on the way until the stroke interrupted me," said the author of the ninth volume of Mole's comic diaries.

The first, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4, came out in 1982.

The eighth instalment, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years, was published in 2009.

Townsend, who is registered blind and a wheelchair user, was diagnosed with diabetes in the 1980s and underwent a kidney transplant in 2009.

Outside of the Mole series, her other best-selling novels include The Queen and I and 2012's The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year.

A spokesman for Penguin, who was at Tuesday's talk, confirmed Townsend's comments, originally reported in the Times.

However, he said those comments were not representative of the event as a whole.

"Sue has definitely been unwell but was still wonderfully endearing and had the audience in creases of laughter several times," he told the BBC News website.

Phillip Pullman, Seamus Heaney and Joanne Moore are among the other authors scheduled to attend this year's festival, which runs until Sunday.

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