Wednesday May 17th 2017, 8pm
John Simenon on Georges Simenon
Curating the Literary Lecacy of a Famous Father
By way of a variation from our usual practice of inviting writers to speak to the Society, we close the season with John Simenon, son of the legendary Belgian thriller writer, Georges Simenon. Those of us of a certain age will remember the television adaptation of the Maigret mysteries with Rupert Davies in the role which held us enthralled with their vivid characterisation and intricate plotting. Later versions have featured Michael Gambon and most recently Rowan Atkinson in the role of Maigret. In November 2016 the National Theatre is presenting The Red Barn, an adaptation of a Simenon novel, La Main adapted for the theatre by David Hare.
John still lives in the house in Switzerland where Georges lived and worked. John is the guardian of his father’s literary legacy and will talk to us about the challenges of having a world famous writer as a father and what is involved in protecting, curating and promoting the legacy: Simenon wrote around 400 books. Enormously popular in Europe, Simenon is not as widely read in this country as he should be and this will be an opportunity to learn more about the man described by P. D. James as the writer ‘who, more than any other crime novelist, combined high literary reputation with popular appeal.’