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Author Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, dies at 68

British comic author Sue Townsend, who created angst-ridden teenage diarist Adrian Mole and sent Queen Elizabeth II into exile on a public housing estate, has died after suffering a stroke. She was 68.

Her publisher, Penguin Books said Friday that Townsend died in Leicester, central England, a day earlier.

Townsend left school at 15, married at 18, and by 23 was a single mother of three. She worked in a factory, in shops and at other jobs — and wrote, honing her style for years before breaking through into publication.

Her first novel, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, was published in 1982 and was hailed as a comic masterpiece. Written in the voice of a gauche but observant teenager, it fused the acute awkwardness of adolescence with the zeitgeist of Thatcher-era Britain. READ FULL STORY

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