Sue Townsend, whose 1982 book The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 sold 20 million copies around the world, has died of a stroke, according to her publisher. She was 68.
The book hilariously tracked the travails of a horny, pimpled teenager in suburban England, making Adrian Mole a kind of Alexander Portnoy for the adolescent set. It spawned a series of books based on the titular character; the last, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years, was published in 2009.
The beleaguered teen bemoaning his dull suburban life and pining for unattainable classmate Pandora struck a chord with millions of readers. "I have never seen a dead body or a female nipple. This is what comes from living in a cul-de-sac," Adrian lamented early on. [Associated Press]