Photo: Maeve Binchy
Wise, generous, funny and full-hearted, she was the best of good company on the page and off it
The death of Maeve Binchy on July 20 has brought a host of obituaries in the British media. The Guardian recorded that her novels have so far sold more than 40 million copies in 37 languages. In the same article, a novelist friend paid tribute to Binchy's legendary charm: 'Wise, generous, funny and full-hearted, she was the best of good company on the page and off it.'
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said in the New York Times, 'Across Ireland and the world people are mourning
and celebrating Maeve Binchy. She is a huge loss wherever stories of love, hope, generosity and possibility are read and cherished.'
English scriptwriter Andrew Davies first met her when he was adapting her Circle of Friends for the screen. He says in the Daily Mail: 'I found her wonderfully warm and friendly. I went to see her at her house. I guessed that Circle of Friends was based on her own days at University college Dublin, and she gave me lots of sharp and comic details that weren't in the book - about half past eleven she said "Gordon and I usually have a bottle of champagne about this time in the morning, would you like to join us?" and that seemed like a very good idea.
'Then we went out to lunch and had, if remember rightly, some lovely sea bass and about three bottles of Chardonnay, and never stopped laughing the whole time until I was poured into a taxi for the flight back.'
Reader's Digest has this to say: she is one of our best-loved writers, her books touch hearts, and whenever we ask readers about books that have inspired them, someone always sends us kind words about Maeve Binchy. She will be greatly missed. Her last (seventeenth) book comes out in October. We'll be waiting.
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