The Thorn Birds Author, Dies at 77!

Australian author Colleen McCullough, whose best-selling novel The Thorn Birds became a hit TV series, has died at the age of 77.

The best-selling writer died in hospital on Norfolk Island on Thursday afternoon, publisher HarperCollins Australia confirmed.

McCullough had suffered poor health in recent years, losing her sight and suffering crippling arthritis.

However, she continued her writing through dictation.

Shona Martyn, of Harper Collins Australia, paid tribute to McCullough, citing her as “one of the first Australian writers to succeed on the world stage”.

“Ever quick-witted and direct, we looked forward to her visits from Norfolk Island and the arrival of each new manuscript, delivered in hard copy, in custom-made maroon manuscript boxes inscribed with her name,” said Martyn.

“The world is a less colourful place without Col.”

Australian broadcaster Richard Glover tweeted: “RIP Colleen McCullough. I can’t think of anyone who took such a miserable childhood and turned [it] into a life of such luminous achievement.”

Author Tara Moss tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of Colleen McCullough. She was fierce, funny and so supportive of other writers. Irreplaceable. RIP Colleen.”

McCullough wrote 25 novels throughout her career.

She penned her first book, Tim, while living in America. It was later made into a 1979 film starring Mel Gibson.

Her second novel, 1977′s The Thorn Birds, became an international bestseller.

A story of forbidden love between a young woman and a priest in the Australian outback, the paperback rights sold for a then-record $1.9 million (£1.25m).

It was turned into a popular television mini-series in 1983, starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward.

Her last book, Bittersweet, was published in 2013.

McCullough was born in Wellington, New South Wales and spent most of her early life in Sydney.

Before turning to writing, she studied medicine both in Australia and overseas, establishing the neurophysiology department at the Royal North Shore hospital in Sydney.

She went on to spend 10 years as a researcher at Yale medical school in the US.

The author leaves behind husband Ric Robinson.

“Colleen McCullough’s contribution to Australian writing – and to readers around the world – has been immense,” said Martyn.

“We will miss her dearly.”

Sri Lanka to Restructure Economy: Interim Budget 2015…

Sri Lanka Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said that the economy in the island is a sad state and could be restructured though proper mechanism.

He said this presenting the interim budget 2015 to the parliament.
“The main aim of the Government is to revitalise this economy,” Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance said.

“The stock exchange became a laughing stock during the previous administration,”
“The economy is in a sad state, the good news is it can be resurrected.” He said.

He said the hedging deal of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had cost 120 million US dollars to the Government.

He added, if the previous administration continued with their economic policies for several more years Sri Lanka would have been classified as a failed state.

Karunanayake said the total debt of the country is over 8800 billion rupees in the end 2015 and per capita debt at 42, 7220 rupees.

Happy Birthday Phil Collins!

Grammy Award-winning musician who gained fame as the lead singer and drummer of the progressive rock band Genesis and who has sold over 100 million albums.

At age five, he began playing the drums while watching television and listening to the radio.

He released more top forty hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the 1980s than any of his contemporaries, and won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance for his single “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).”

He married Andrea Collins on September 27, 1975 and, after their divorce, he married Jill Tavelman on August 4, 1984. He married Orianne Cevey on July 24, 1999. He has three sons named Matthew, Nicholas and Simon and two daughters named Lily and Joely.

He appeared as an extra in the music video for “A Hard Day’s Night,” which featured Paul McCartney and the other members of the Beatles.

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