Beloved Irish Writer Maeve Binchy Dies At 72

Beloved, best-selling Irish writer Maeve Binchy died Monday at the age of 72 after enduring a brief illness, according to reports.

Binchy, a renowned novelist, short story scribe and journalist who sold more than 40 million books around the world, had a best-seller in her first novel, 1982's "Light a Penny Candle," and in the years that followed became one of the most-adored Irish writers of her generation, according to Ireland's RTE News.

Born in Dalkey, she attended University College Dublin and worked for a while as a teacher in Dublin before becoming a journalist with the Irish Times, a career choice that brought her to London, where she rose to hold the position of the Times' London editor.

She passed away in a hospital in Dublin with her husband, writer Gordon Snell, by her side, according to the Irish Times.

Her choice to become a writer rather than simply meeting a successful man and settling down dismayed her mother at first, but Maeve Binchy persisted and silenced her critics by achieving her dream and becoming a literary star in the process, according to a quote referenced in her obituary in the Irish Times: 

"My mother hoped I would meet a nice doctor or barrister or accountant who would marry me and take me to live in what is now called Fashionable Dublin Four. But she felt that this was a vain hope. I was a bit loud to make a nice professional wife, and anyway, I was too keen on spending my holidays in far-flung places to meet any of these people."

A prolific writer, she published a total of 16 novels, including "The Lilac Bus and Echoes," "Circle of Friends," How About You" and "Tara Road" -- all of which were made into feature motion pictures or TV movies. She also wrote four short-story collections, a play and a novella, and her writings have been translated into 30 languages, according to the Guardian.

On July 3, 2010, Maeve Binchy spoke with the Irish Times about her life:

"I don't have any regrets about any roads I didn't take. Everything went well, and I think that's been a help because I can look back, and I do get great pleasure out of looking back. ... I've been very lucky and I have a happy old age with good family and friends still around."

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