Maeve Binchy, one of the most successful Irish writers of recent generations, has died at the age of 72. She passed away at a Dublin hospital following a short illness.
Educated at University College Dublin, Maeve Binchy worked first as a teacher and then as a journalist. She published a number of short stories before the release of her debut novel, 1982′s Light a Penny Candle. A comic drama about life in a small Irish town around the time of the Second World War, the novel became a bestseller.
Binchy wrote a number of other novels and is estimated to have sold more than 40m books worldwide. Later successes included 1990′s Circle of Friends, which was turned into a film starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver, and 2002′s Quietus. By the time the latter was released, the author had announced her retirement from touring to promote her work and focused instead on writing.