Friday, January 30, 2015

Colleen McCullough, 1937-2015

The acclaimed Australian author Colleen McCullough has passed away at the age of 77. Her first novel, Tim, was published in 1974. It was later made into a feature film which featured Mel Gibson in one of his first film roles. However it was her second novel, The Thorn Birds, that really launched her career. The book sold 30 million copies worldwide and a miniseries staring Richard Chamberlain and Barbara Stanwyck became one of the second highest rated miniseries in America, behind Roots. Her other well known series, Masters of Rome, won much acclaim from diverse people such as Bob Carr, Henry Kissinger and Newt Gingrich.

Speaking on Radio National a few years ago McCullough spoke of how she started writing, buying a typewriter instead of a much needed overcoat. "So I went to town with the five pounds to buy an overcoat, and I saw a Blue Bird portable typewriter for five pounds so I bought that instead."

Her final novel, Bittersweet, was published in 2013. She was reportedly working on a sequel when she died.

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