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Irish author Maeve Binchy dies at 72

Acclaimed writer of small-town Irish life had sold more than 40 million books worldwide.

The bestselling Irish author Maeve Binchy, who was known for her depictions of small-town Irish life, has died in Dublin after a brief illness. She was 72.

The Irish Times, her former employer, said the acclaimed author died in a Dublin hospital on Monday with her husband Gordon Snell by her side.

Binchy was considered one of Ireland's most popular writers and sold more than 40 million books worldwide.

She wrote 16 novels, four collections of short stories, a play and a novella. Her work landed her on The New York Times bestseller list and in Oprah's Book Club.

Describing her childhood in Ireland, Binchy wrote on her official website that she was "full of enthusiasms, mad fantasies, desperate urges to be famous and anxious to be a saint".

After graduating from University College Dublin, Binchy worked as a teacher before becoming a journalist, columnist and editor at the Irish Times. She later moved to England, where she assumed the post of the newspaper's London editor in the early 1970s.

Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and went on to become a bestseller.

Several of her works, including Circle of Friends and Tara Road, were turned into films.

Binchy's last novel, Minding Frankie, was published in 2010, the same year she received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Book Awards.

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