British novelist Tom Sharpe, who satirised everything from apartheid to academe in a series of bestsellers, has died at 85.
Sharpe’s Spanish publisher, Anagrama, said he died early Thursday in the Catalan town where he lived. Spanish newspapers said he had been suffering from diabetes.
Born in 1928, Sharpe sharpened his satirical axe as a young man working in South Africa. He was deported in 1961 for criticising the apartheid regime.
His first novel, the South Africa-set Riotous Assembly, was published in 1971. He became one of Britain’s most popular comic novelists with Blott on the Landscape, the Wilt series about a long-suffering college lecturer, and “Porterhouse Blue,” set in a fictitious Cambridge University college.
Susan Sandon, Sharpe’s editor at Random House, said he was “witty, often outrageous, always acutely funny about the absurdities of life.” She called him “one of our greatest satirists and a brilliant writer.”
Many of his works were adapted for TV.
Sharpe moved from England to Spain in the early 1990s, where he became something of a local celebrity. He studied at Lancing College and Pembroke College in Cambridge before serving in the Marines.