Written by Brandon Williams on Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Bryce Courtenay, the most popular Australian author, died on Thursday at home in Canberra. He was 79.

He announced that his novel Jack of Diamonds would be his last, due to his battle with stomach cancer. The novel was published earlier this month.

His only novel to breakthrough in the United States was The Power of One, published in 1989. The novel tells the story of persecution and racism in South Africa in the ’30s and ’40s. The novel sold 8 million copies and was adapted to film in 1992.

During his career, he wrote 21 novels that were translated into 17 languages and sold a total of 20 million copies. The Sydney Morning Herald declared him the biggest-selling Australian author in the past 20 years.

“I’ve had a wonderful life,” Bryce said. “Part of that wonderful life has been those people who have been kind enough to pick up a Bryce Courtenay book, and read it, and enjoy it and buy the next one, and be with me in what has been for me an incredible journey. And all I’d like to say is, as simply as I possibly can, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

For more on Bryce Courtenay’s life and career, please see the New York Times article.


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