Acclaimed novelist Margaret Forster has died, her husband Hunter Davies has announced.
The award-winning author, who wrote many successful books including Georgy Girl and Diary Of An Ordinary Woman, died this morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, north London. She was 77 and had been suffering from cancer in her back.
Mr Davies, also a writer and journalist, said: "She had a double mastectomy 40 years so she's had a remarkable life considering she had it for so long."
Born in Carlisle, Ms Forster was a teacher at a girls' school in Islington, north London, before her writing career took off.
Her big break came with Georgy Girl, the story of a young woman in 1960s London who is romantically pursued by her father's older employer and the young lover of her promiscuous and pregnant flatmate.
The book was turned into a successful film starring Lynn Redgrave as Georgy, Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates and James Mason. It also featured a song of the same name by The Seekers.
Speaking to the Press Association about his wife, Mr Davies said: "She was the cleverest woman I ever met."
He said she won a scholarship to go to Oxford, adding: "But actually she was clever in a much better and nicer way.
"She was emotionally clever, in that she could always understand people and predict their actions and their feelings and their motives, which I can never do. And she was a brilliant critic as well.
"Always had an opinion whether asked for it or not, and she was just the most marvellous woman. She was not interested in money. She was not interested in publicity."
He said his wife wrote in and around 27 novels and never wanted to be interviewed.
"In fact, she had an agreement with her publisher not to do literary lunches or do any broadcasting, and she actually didn't care whether the books were published or not.
"Her fun was in writing them and if the publisher didn't want to publish it, so what? She'd move on to the next one," he said.
Mr Davies added: "She was a remarkable woman in every way."