by Lindesay Irvine)
Sue Townsend was working on a new Adrian Mole book, provisionally entitled Pandora's Box, before she died last week at the age of 68, it has been revealed.
Her literary agent Jonathan Lloyd, chairman of Curtis Brown, said he had not yet seen anything and was unsure if there was "anything sufficient to publish", but that Townsend was at work on a new book of some kind, according to the Bookseller.
The unfinished book would have been the ninth of Townsend's much-loved Mole novels, and had the working title Pandora's Box, the Telegraph reported.
Publisher Michael Joseph told the Telegraph: "We can confirm that Sue was in the middle of writing the book. Her editor had seen what she describes as 'a few wonderful pages'. It was supposed to be out this autumn and we are very sad that we won't be able to show it to the world."
Townsend had also been working on an Adrian Mole play to be produced at Leicester's Curve Theatre. The theatre plans to go ahead with the production, expected to open next spring. Producers there say it should be "an amazing tribute to the woman", the Telegraph reported.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, the original tale of the archetypal adolescent boy, was published in 1982 and, along with subsequent volumes, has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. Pandora, his teenage love object, grows up to move in exalted circles as a New Labour MP, but periodically reappears in Adrian's life.
The Mole books have been translated into 48 languages and sold more than 10m copies. "Adrian Mole, c'est moi," Townsend said when Kate Kellaway interviewed for the Guardian in 2010.