Cassandra Darke is an art dealer, mean, selfish, solitary by nature, living in Chelsea in a house worth £7 million.
She has become a social pariah, but doesn’t much care. Between one Christmas and the next, she has sullied the reputation of a West End gallery and has acquired a conviction for fraud, a suspended sentence and a bank balance drained by lawsuits. On the scale of villainy, fraud seems to Cassandra a rather paltry offence – her own crime involving ‘no violence, no weapon, no dead body’.
But in Cassandra’s basement, her young ex-lodger, Nicki, has left a surprise, something which implies at least violence and probably a body . . . Something which forces Cassandra out of her rich enclave and onto the streets. Not those local streets paved with gold and lit with festive glitter, but grimmer, darker places, where she must make the choice between self-sacrifice and running for her life.
All day long the baker's cat toils in the bakery and all night he is expected to catch the mice that run riot in the storeroom. If he doesn't catch any mice, the beastly baker tells him, he won't get any food. Too exhausted to chase after the cheeky rodents, the baker's cat becomes thin and sad and weepy, until the mice take pity on him and together they concoct a clever plan . . .
"Posy Simmonds delights as ever with a subversive story rich in humour and glorious in its bakery details." Guardian
"Anything by Posy Simmonds is a must for parents as well as children" Evening Standard
Fred’s owners, Sophie and Nick think he is the laziest cat in the world, but who knows what goes on after dark?
It’s only after their beloved pet dies, that they discovers he has been leading an exciting double life . . .
'Enchanting, an instant classic' Sunday Telegraph
'Fred is pure delight' Guardian
In May 1977 Posy Simmonds, an unknown young illustrator, started drawing a weekly comic strip for the Guardian. It began as a silly parody of girls' adventure stories, making satirical comments about contemporary life. The strip soon focused on three 1950s school friends in their later middle-class and nearly middle-aged lives: Wendy Weber, a former nurse married to polytechnic sociology lecturer George with a large brood of children; Jo Heep, married to whisky salesman Edmund with two rebellious teenagers; and Trish Wright, married to philandering advertising executive Stanhope and with a young baby. The strip, which was latterly untitled and usually known just as 'Posy', ran until the late 1980s.
Collected here for the first time are the complete strips. Although celebrated for pinpointing the concerns of Guardian readers in the 1980s and their constant struggle to remain true to the ideals of the 1960s, they are in fact remarkably undated. They show one of Britain's favourite cartoonists, celebrated for Literary Life and Tamara Drewe, maturing into genius.
Winner of the Grand Prix 2009 de la Critique Bande Dessinée.
Tamara Drewe has transformed herself. Plastic surgery, a different wardrobe, a smouldering look, have given her confidence and a new and thrilling power to attract, which she uses recklessly. Often just for the fun of it.
People are drawn to Tamara Drewe, male and female. In the remote village where her late mother lived Tamara arrives to clear up the house. Here she becomes an object of lust, of envy, the focus of unrequited love, a seductress. To the village teenagers she is 'plastic-fantastic', a role model. Ultimately, when her hot and indiscriminate glances lead to tragedy, she is seen as a man-eater, a heartless home-wrecker, a slut.
First appearing as a serial in the Guardian, in book form Tamara Drewe has been enlarged, embellished and lovingly improved by the author.
This book consists of approximately fifty 'Literary Life' cartoons which were serialised weekly every Saturday in the Guardian's Review section from November 2002 until December 2004, and two short stories, 'Murder at Matabele Mansions' and 'Cinderella'.
Posy Simmonds examines the pretensions of the literary world with her customary flair for light, witty satire and social observation. Women writers suffer 'Rustic Block' after moving to the countryside, type their sexual fantasies into their laptop, and (in 'Enemies of Promise') juggle the dilemmas of feminism and motherhood. Male authors are shown suffering the ego-perils of coming into contact with the public at book signings, and complain about reviewers and 'media hoops'. Jealousies and rivalries emerge out of reading groups; struggling small booksellers have to deal with recalcitrant customers or sales reps pushing the latest celebrity book. Simmonds' penchant for literary pastiche and parody is given full rein, as in 'Murder at Matebele Mansions'. And she wickedly suggests a family's fixed smiles as a young girl explains the plot of her Harry Potter book ...
Funny, insightful and beautifully drawn, Literary Life will delight fans of Gemma Bovery.
The brilliant graphic novel behind the major new film starring Gemma Aterton (Quantum of Solace), Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Fabrice Luchini (In the House) and Mel Raido (Spooks)
Gemma is the bored, pretty second wife of Charlie Bovery, the reluctant stepmother of his children and the bête-noire of his ex-wife. Gemma's sudden windfall and distaste for London take them across the Channel to Normandy, where the charms of French country living soon wear off.
Is it a coincidence that Gemma Bovery has a name rather like Flaubert's notorious heroine? Is it by chance that, like Madame Bovary, Gemma is bored, adulterous, and a bad credit risk? Is she inevitably doomed? These questions consume Gemma's neighbour, the intellectual baker, Joubert. Denying voyeurism, but nevertheless noting every change in the fit of her jeans, every addition to Gemma's wardrobe, her love-bites and lovers, Joubert, with the help of the heroine's diaries, follows her path towards ruin. Adultery and its consequences. Disappointment and deception. The English in France. Fat and slim. Then and now.
Posy Simmonds is the author of many books for adults and children, including Gemma Bovery, Lulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, the film of which was nominated for an Oscar. She has won international awards for her work, including the Grand Prix 2009 de la Critique Bande Dessiné for Tamara Drewe. Both Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe have been made into successful feature films. She lives in London.