Author Bryce Courtenay, best known for his novels including The Power of One, April Fool’s Day and Jessica, died in Canberra on Thursday following a battle with stomach cancer. He was 79.
Courtenay announced his illness in September, after being diagnosed in June.
Two of Courtenay’s novels were adapted into television miniseries: The Potato Factory and Jessica, on which he remained an Executive Producer. The Power of One also became a feature film.
In a statement released by Penguin publishers Christine Courtenay said, “We’d like to thank all of Bryce’s family and friends and all of his fans around the world for their love and support for me and his family as he wrote the final chapter of his extraordinary life. And may we make a request for privacy as we cherish his memory.”
ABC1 filmed Courtenay for the series Family Confidential. The program, filmed through 2011, as he struggled with illness, charts his despair at not being able to complete a book for Christmas. It looks back on his successes in fiction and advertising – including the creation of “Louie the Fly” and “Mr Sheen.”
The documentary shows him after a medical check-up gives him the all clear, planning many more books to come.
ABC1 had already scheduled a replay of Family Confidential for 8pm Monday night.