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, Litera
Posy Simmonds is best known for her weekly cartoon strip which ran in the Guardian from 1977 to 1987. The collected cartoons were published as Mrs Weber's Diary, True Love, Pick of Posy, Very Posy, Pure Posy and Mustn't Grumble. She is also the author of several books for children, among them Lulu and the Flying Babies and Fred, whose film version was nominated for an Oscar in 1998. She was Cartoonist of the Year in 1980 and 1981 and in 1998 was overall winner of the National Art Library Illustrations Award. Gemma Bovery was published by Cape in 1999 to great critical acclaim.