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Acclaimed author Wilbur Smith has died at the age of 88

13/02/2021 7:51 AM
Acclaimed author Wilbur Smith has died at the age of 88

International best-selling author Wilbur Smith has died in South Africa at the age of 88, according to a statement from his official website.

‘Global bestselling author Wilbur Smith died unexpectedly this afternoon at his Cape Town home after a morning of reading and writing with his wife Niso by his side,’ the statement said.

Wilbur Smith was born in 1933 in Zambia in Central Africa and died on Saturday afternoon. He was the son of a sheet-metal worker called Herbert Smith, and a mother called Elfreda, who encouraged his passion for literature.

Over the course of his career, he published 49 novels that explored a variety of stories from piracy on the Indian Ocean, buried treasures, ancient Egypt, WWII, diamond and slave traders in the African wilderness, and more.

His first novel When the Lion Feeds was published in 1964 and was a bestseller and the subsequent novels featured in the bestseller charts.

‘However, it was with Taita, the hero of his acclaimed Egyptian Series, that Wilbur most strongly identified, and River God remains one of his best-loved novels to this day’ the statement said.

Wilbur Smith’s novels have sold over 140 million copies worldwide and have been published in more than 30 languages. According to the statement, his bestselling Courtney Series is the longest running in publishing history and follows the Courtney family over three centuries as they traverse across the world.

Kate Parking from Bonnie Books UK said, ‘It is with deep sadness that we mourn the death of our beloved author Wilbur Smith whose seemingly inexhaustible creative energy and passion for storytelling will long live on in the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.’