Sue Townsend, the British author of the popular Adrian Mole book series, has died, according to her publisher Penguin Books. She was 68 and had suffered a stroke in 2013 before passing away Thursday, the Associated Press reports.
Townsend began her writing career as an award-winning playwright before penning the young-adult book series about an angsty teenager named Adrian Mole. The first book in the series, which has been adapted into radio and theater, was published in 1982 and went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide.
"So sad to hear about Sue Townsend," Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted. "She gave me so many laughs."
Townsend's last novel, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, came out in 2012 and sold half a million copies in the U.K. At the time of her death, she was working on another Adrian Mole book, the Telegraph reports.
"She was loved by generations of readers, not only because she made them laugh out loud, but because her view of the world, its inhabitants and their frailties was so generous, life-affirming and unique," Penguin Random House UK CEO Tom Weldon said in a statement.