- Wednesday 1 March 2017 17.00 to 18.30
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Posy Simmonds is the author and illustrator of many books for adults and children, including Literary Life, Lulu and the Flying Babies, and Fred - the film of which received an Oscar nomination. Her style gently satirises the English middle classes and in particular those of a literary bent. Her published books often feature a 'doomed heroine', much in the style of the 18th- and 19th-century gothic romantic novel, to which they often allude, but with an ironic, modernist slant.
Working across a range of formats and contexts, Simmonds is probably best known for her series of weekly cartoon strips commissioned by the Guardian since 1977. Gemma Bovery, her reworking of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary into a satirical tale of English expatriates in France, appeared first in the Guardian before publication as a graphic novel in 1999. Acclaimed by the critics for its wit and wickedly sharp observation - A.N.Wilson called it "a work of genius" - it was made into a feature film, released in the UK in 2015. A subsequent graphic novel Tamara Drewe won the 2009 Prix de la critique of the French Association of Comics Critics and Journalists and became a very successful feature film directed by Stephen Frears in 2010.
In 2013, Simmonds accepted Falmouth University's award of Honorary Fellow. As Bart Beaty of The Comics Journal has observed, "Posy Simmonds is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of a handful of absolutely brilliant cartoonists currently working in the English language...."
Image: from cover artwork for Gemma Bovery, (c) Posy Simmonds