Irish writer Maeve Binchy has died following a short illness, aged 72, Foreign media reported.
The best-selling author was famous for her warm stories about life and love in Ireland and sold more than 40 million books worldwide which were translated in to 30 languages.
Some of her work was also adapted for screen including the 1995 film Circle of Friends starring Minnie Driver and Chris O'Connell.
A journalist, short story writer and best-selling novelist, Maeve Binchy was born in Dalkey in Co Dublin and studied at UCD.
She initially worked as a teacher before becoming a journalist, columnist and later women’s editor at the Irish Times.
She then moved to London where she became London Editor. Her early short story collections were based in London and Dublin and featured sharp, funny and often poignant observations of residents of those cities.
Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle was published in 1982 and became a bestseller.
Set during World War II and in the following years, it featured many elements that were to characterise her work, life in small town Ireland, family relationships, humour and gripping plots.
She went on to publish many other novels and short story collections among them Circle of Friends and Tara Road both of which were adapted as feature films.
By 8a.m this morning the much loved author was trending on Twitter as friends and peers paid tribute to the writer.
Irish actress Amy Huberman tweeted: ‘RIP Maeve Binchy, a truly wonderful, talented, inspirational woman.’
Mystery author Harlan Coben tweeted: I'm so sad to hear about the death of the wonderful, funny, talented, generous, endearing Maeve Binchy' and crime writer Ian Rankin said: 'Maeve Binchy was a gregarious, larger than life, ebullient recorder of human foibles and wonderment. I'm taking a drink to her.'
Author Maria Duffy: Oh no! Such sad news about Maeve Binchy. Such a lovely, funny, talented lady. She'll be missed. RIP. '
Best-selling author Jonathan Gunson quoted the author: 'Never mind the money, the gifts of time and skill call into being the richest marketplace in the world.' and fan Lorraine Kelly said: So sad to hear of death of Maeve Binchy - brilliant storyteller who wrote from her heart. thoughts with her family. She will be sadly missed
Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver star in the film adaptation of Circle of Friends in 1995
Although Maeve announced her retirement in 2000, she continued writing and her last novel Minding Frankie was published in 2010.
In the same year she received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Book Awards.
She is survived by her husband, the writer Gordon Snell.
BINCHY BEST-SELLER LIST
1. Light a Penny Candle (1982)
2. Echoes (1985)
3. Firefly Summer (1987)
4. Silver Wedding (1988)
5. Circle of Friends (1990)
6. The Copper Beech (1992)
7. The Glass Lake (1994)
8. Evening Class (1996)
9. Tara Road (1998)
10. Scarlet Feather (2000)