Tom Sharpe dies

Tom Sharpe dies

Bestselling author Tom Sharpe, perhaps best known for his 1974 novel Porterhouse Blue, has died aged 85.

Sharpe, who was born in 1928 and educated at Lancing College and Cambridge University, died in north-eastern Spain today (6th June).

His debut novel, Riotous Assembly, was published in 1971. Both Porterhouse Blue and Blott on the Landscape were made into television series, and his novel Wilt was made into a film.

Sharpe has been published by Arrow Books since 2002. Cornerstone managing director Susan Sandon said: "Tom Sharpe was one of our greatest satirists and a brilliant writer: witty, often outrageous, always acutely funny about the absurdities of life. The private Tom was warm, supportive and wholly engaging. I feel enormously privileged to have been his publisher."

The publisher has all 16 of his titles available as paperbacks and e-books, having signed a deal directly with Sharpe for his backlist e-book rights in 2011.

Sharpe did his national service in the Marines before moving to South Africa in 1951, where he did social work before teaching in Natal. He had a photographic studio in Pietermartizburg from 1957 until 1961, and from 1963 to 1972 he was a lecturer in History at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology.

In 1986 he was awarded the XXIII ème Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret, and in 2010 he was awarded the inaugural BBK La Risa de Bilabo Prize.

In his latter years, he divided his time between Cambridge and northern Spain.