John Fowles dies at 79 | books | Hindustan Times
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John Fowles dies at 79

The fiercely private author passed away at his home in Lyme Regis, in Dorset, after a long illness.

books Updated: Nov 10, 2005 18:20 IST

The British writer John Fowles, author of

The Magus


The French Lieutenant's Woman

, has died at the age of 79, his publisher Random House announced Monday.

Fowles died on Saturday at his home in Lyme Regis, in Dorset on England's south coast, after a long illness.

His writing career spanned more than 40 years, but his most famous work remains The French Lieutenant's Woman, which was published in 1969 and made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, in 1981.

A former teacher, Fowles published his first book The Collector, in 1963, which was an immediate best-seller. It was followed by The Magus, which gained cult status in the United States, two years later.

His other novels were Daniel Martin (1977), Mantissa (1982) and A Maggot (1985). He also produced a short story collection, poetry and works of non-fiction.

Fowles, who survived a stroke in 1988 and then suffered heart problems, is survived by his second wife, Sarah. His first wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer in 1990.

Fiercely private, he lived as a virtual recluse in a house overlooking the English Channel, and hated the fame that went with his work, once complaining of feeling "persecuted" by his readers.

'They want to see you and talk to you. And they don't realise that very often that gets on one's nerves,' he said. 'I have a great deal of contempt for writers who are vain, who want fame.'