Maeve Binchy, one of Ireland's most beloved writers, has died in Dublin after a short illness at the age of 72, Irish media reported.
Binchy was revered for such novels as Light a Penny Candle, Tara Road, and Circle of Friends, which was adapted for the screen in 1995. She sold more than 40 million books worldwide.
Her novels and short stories often examined the friction between tradition and modernity in Ireland. Her works have been translated into 37 languages.
Born in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey in 1940, she began her career as a teacher before moving into a distinguished career as a newspaper journalist and writer.
She then moved to London, where she became the London editor of The Irish Times newspaper.
Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and became a bestseller.
She later published dozens of novels, novellas and collections of short stories, including The Copper Beech, Silver Wedding, Evening Class, and Heart and Soul.
She announced her retirement in 2000, but continued writing. Her last novel, Minding Frankie, was published in 2010.
Binchy lived in Dalkey until her death, not far from where she grew up.
She is survived by her husband, the writer Gordon Snell.