Multi-million selling Irish author Maeve Binchy, best known for writing Circle of Friends, has died aged 72 following a short illness, Irish broadcaster RTE announced on Monday.
The former journalist sold over 40 million copies of her novels and short stories, which were known for their portrayals of Irish life and surprise endings.
She recently wrote on her website: "My health isn't so good these days and I can't travel around to meet people the way I used to. But I'm always delighted to hear from readers, even if it takes me a while to reply."
Circle of Friends became a screen hit when it was adapted into a 1995 film featuring Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell.
Other novels included The Copper Beech, Evening Class and Heart and Soul.
Her most recent public appearance was at last month's Dalkey Book Festival near the Irish capital of Dublin.
She is survived by husband Gordon Snell, a children's author.