'Thorn Birds' Author Colleen McCullough dies at 77

Colleen McCullough at home on Australia's remote Norfolk Island in 1990 — she told an interviewer she moved there to escape her difficult family.
Colleen McCullough at home Getty Images
She was a kindred spirit, a writer but not just a writer, a successful one. she was best known for her novel The Thorn Birds, a highly popular romance novel which sold 30 million copies around the world, and has never gone out of print.

She didn't plan to be a writer, she intended to be a doctor, but while in medical school in Sydney she developed an allergy that forced her to abandon that dream. Trained as a neuroscientist, she became a researcher, which led to a job at Yale University. And it was there she wrote her first novel, Tim— followed by the book which made her famous: The Thorn Birds.

The Thorn Birds
Her most famous book

Author McCollough is likely to be best remembered for her book, The Thorn Birds, though, she wrote dozens of other books, including the "Masters of Rome" series, seven novels about ancient Rome.

She even issued her own take on Pride and Prejudice, with 2008's The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet. It was not well received by Jane Austen fans. 

In recent years, her eyesight began to fail, and she suffered from debilitating arthritis — but she kept on writing. Her last book, Bittersweet, was published in 2013.


May her soul rest in peace.

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