Bloomsbury author Shaffer dies

<p>Mary Ann Shaffer, author of Bloomsbury&rsquo;s summer 2008 fiction lead title, <em>The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society</em>, died last week at her home in California. She was 73.</p><p>Set in occupied Guernsey during the Second World War, <em>The Guernsey Literary&hellip; </em>tells the story of a book group set up to provide some relief from wartime hardship. </p><p>Rights to the book have sold in 13 countries, and in the UK and US it was a hotly contested auction. Bloomsbury says it has had an &quot;unprecedented response&quot; of positive reviews when it sent out proof copies two weeks ago.</p><p>Alexandra Pringle, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief, said: &quot;Her death comes as a shock to everyone who had the privilege of working with Mary Ann, and it is very sad indeed that she will not be with us to witness the immense pleasure that her utterly unique novel will inevitably bring to thousands of readers worldwide.&quot;</p>