Popular Irish novelist Maeve Binchy has passed away at the age of seventy-two. Binchy’s novels, including Circle of Friends (1990, made into a feature film with Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell in 1995) and Tara Road (1998) dealt with issues such as betrayal and child-parent relationships, tensions between rural and urban life, and the transformations in Irish cultural and religious life in the late 20th century, and she left sex scenes to the imagination rather than provide graphic detail. She got her start as the London editor for the Irish Times in the seventies.
In her personal life, Binchy was a generous soul. When she received a substantial payment, from the paperback rights to Light a Penny Candle (1984,) her debut novel, she distributed much of it quietly to family, friends and colleagues. When she became rich and famous, she replied to every letter asking for help, advice or money.