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'Warm and witty and wonderful' - Worldwide tributes to Maeve Binchy

International media outlets have paid tribute to the author and former journalist who passed away last night, aged 72.

Maeve Binchy in 2007
Maeve Binchy in 2007
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA WERE quick to report the death of Maeve Binchy last night, underlining the extent to which her work was read and admired worldwide.

Having sold over 40 million books and with many of her works translated into 37 different languages, Binchy was renowned for her story-telling and her books reached new audiences when they were adapted for films including Circle of Friends.

In its article, The Telegraph notes that Binchy’s first novel, Light A Penny Candle, explored themes that would be come familiar throughout her career in writing.

“Its treatment of life in small town Ireland and family dramas were to become familiar themes throughout her work,” the paper says.

BBC News says that Binchy’s “warm, witty and perceptive stories, were read and enjoyed around the world” while the broadcaster also pays tribute to her “renowned generosity and support of others”.

It says that Binchy’s secret, as she revealed herself, was to write the way she spoke.

“I don’t say I was proceeding down a thoroughfare, I say I walked down the road,” it quotes her as saying once when asked to talk about her writing style.

The Sun notes that Binchy’s “sudden death rocked the literary world, and triggered hundreds of online tributes from her army of devastated fans” including the likes of DJ John Kelly and fellow author Amanda Brunker.

Binchy’s books “often had a humorous take on small-town life in Ireland” Bloomberg states while Associated Press also says that the author was “best known for her depictions of small-town Irish life”.

AP also recalls that Tara Road, a story about about Irish and American women who switch homes having never met, was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her popular book club bringing Binchy’s work to many new readers.

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The Guardian has this morning put a prominent tribute to Binchy on its homepage, underlining the extent to which she was loved beyond Ireland:

Writing on the Guardian’s online news piece, Conal Urquhart says that “her novels and short stories focused on the details of Irish life and the friction between tradition and modernity”.

In an excellent tribute posted on his blog, media writer Roy Greenslade notes that Binchy was “warm and witty and wonderful company” and describes how there was a “total absence of malice in Maeve”.

“For her, life was all about laughter. She was the very opposite of what people expect a journalist to be like,” Greenslade writes before exploring her time as women’s editor and later London correspondent at the Irish Times.

Read: ‘A national treasure’ – Taoiseach pays tribute to Maeve Binchy

In pictures: The world pays tribute to Maeve Binchy on Twitter

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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