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Adrian Mole' British author Sue Townsend dies aged 68

LONDON--British author Sue Townsend, whose books about awkward teenage diarist Adrian Mole sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, has died at the age of 68, her publishers said Friday.

She died on Thursday after suffering a stroke, surrounded by her family in Leicester — her hometown in central England and the setting for Mole's angst-ridden adolescence.

Townsend was a prolific writer but won worldwide fame with the publication of “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13” in 1982, which sold 20 million copies worldwide.

Mole's self-important writings gave a witty insight into the trials and tribulations of teenage boys, as well as life growing up under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

A working-class teenager with intellectual pretensions, Mole poured out his frustration with his dysfunctional family, his school friends, his spots and his hopeless love for the middle-class Pandora Braithwaite.

“I was racked with sexuality but it wore off when I helped my father put manure on our rose bed,” was one classic line.

Two years after the first book was published, a follow-up was released, “The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.” Together, they

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