Novelist Sue Townsend, best known as the author of the successful Adrian Mole series, has died, a friend of her family has told the BBC.
Townsend, 68, died at home on Thursday after a short illness.
The first of her comic series, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4, was published in 1982 and the eighth instalment, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years, was released in 2009.
Her other best-selling novels included The Queen and I.
Brief History about her
Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946, and set her most famous work in her home city.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4, was followed by The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole in 1984.
The two books made her the best-selling novelist of the 1980s and they were followed by others in the Mole series, including The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole.
Several of her books were adapted for the stage, while the Mole series was adapted for radio, television and theatre.
Townsend was awarded an honorary Masters of Arts from Leicester University and in 2008 was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the university.
She was also an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Loughborough University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
In 2009 Townsend was given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester.
She said at the time: "I have been a citizen of Leicester for over 62 years, most of my family and friends live here, so I was delighted when I was nominated to receive the freedom of the city."
She leaves her husband and four children.