Wilbur Smith, internationally acclaimed author, dies in South Africa aged 88

Captain Beer

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Wilbur Smith, internationally acclaimed author, dies in South Africa aged 88


Internationally acclaimed Zambia-born author Wilbur Smith has died in South Africa aged 88, his publisher announced.

With 49 titles under his belt since his first novel When the Lion Feeds was published in 1964, Smith became a household name in literature.

"The undisputed and inimitable master of adventure writing, Wilbur Smith's novels have gripped readers for over half a century, selling over 140 million copies worldwide in more than 30 languages," said the statement.

His bestselling Courtney Series, was the longest running in publishing history, said the statement.
 

Captain Beer

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Author Wilbur Smith, Chronicler of African Adventures, Dies at 88

PARIS —
Zambia-born novelist Wilbur Smith chronicled dramatic adventures on the African continent, creating internationally acclaimed fiction that drew on his own action-packed life.

Smith died in South Africa at age 88, his publisher announced Saturday.

He gained recognition in 1964 with his debut novel "When the Lion Feeds," the tale of a young man growing up on a South African cattle ranch that led to 15 sequels, tracing the ambitious family's fortunes for more than 200 years.

"I wove into the story chunks of early African history. I wrote about Black people and white. I wrote about hunting and gold mining and carousing and women," he said in a biography on his official website.

He also leaned on meticulous historical research and his own extensive travels, establishing a method he would use over a career spanning five decades in which he wrote nearly 50 novels and sold about 130 million books.

Another golden rule came from his publisher, Charles Pick.

"He said: 'Write only about those things you know well.' Since then I have written only about Africa," Smith said.
 

Gordon_R

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BBC version:
International best-selling author Wilbur Smith has died at his home in Cape Town at the age of 88, his publisher has announced.

He passed away on Saturday afternoon with his wife, Niso, by his side, a statement published on the Wilbur Smith Books website said.
Indeed, the novelist's personal life resembled that of many of his buccaneering protagonists; he was a big game hunter, a scuba diver and also a licensed pilot.

Smith was also "a believer in deep research", the statement from his publisher says, and the success of his first book allowed him the "opportunity to travel far and wide in search of inspiration and adventure".
Born in January 1933 in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, he devoured tales from Rider Haggard and John Buchan as a child.

Smith, who was named after US aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright, detailed more of his own life in his memoir On Leopard Rock, released in 2018.
 
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