Writer Maeve Binchy has died following a short illness at 72. Binchy sold more than 40 million books worldwide. Her first novel, Light and Penny Candle was published in 1982 and became a best seller. She went on to publish many other novels and short story collections among them 'Circle of Friends' and 'Tara Road' both of which were adapted as feature films. In 2012 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Book Awards. She is survived by her husband, the writer Gordon Snell.