Spain-based English author Tom Sharpe dies

Spain-based English author Tom Sharpe dies
Tom Sharpe during a television interview in 2009. Photo: YouTube
The English author Tom Sharpe, famous for his 'Wilt' series of novels, has passed away in his home in Catalonia at the age of 85, his Spanish publisher said on Thursday.

Sharpe died from complications related to diabetes at his home in the Catalonian town of Palafrugell, sources from his publisher Anagrama told news agency AFP.

The author, best known for his series of five 'Wilt' novels written from 1976 to 2010, had lived in Spain in 22 years.

The town of Palafrugell had provided him with a refuge where he could write, he told told the website Expatica in 2004.

Initially, Sharpe lived in hotels before finally going to buy a villa with sea views. 

Sharpe never learned Catalan or Spanish. 

"I don't want to learn a language. I don't want to hear what the price of meat is," he told Expatica. 

However, Sharpe was a popular figure in Spain, regularly featuring in the national press.  

Sharpe was born in London in 1928. studied at Cambridge University and lived for a time in South Africa but was deported for criticizing that country's apartheid regime.

His time in the strife-ridden African country provided the material for his novels 'Riotous Assembly' and 'Indecent Exposure'.

Two top sellers were made into television series: Porterhouse Blue, about the academically mediocre Porterhouse College, and Blott on the Landscape, which recounts the fight of a gardener, Blott, to prevent a motorway being laid though picturesque rural England.

Sharpe, who was married, was a history lecturer at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology from 1963 to 1972.

He was awarded the 13th Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret in 1986 and the inaugural BBK La Risa de Bilbao Prize in 2010.

Sharpe's funeral is to take place on Saturday, according to Spain's El País newspaper.

His ashes will be scattered in his Spanish home  in the province of Gerona, in Cambridge and Sunderland, the national daily reported on Thursday.

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