Terry Pratchett dies

Bestselling author of the Discworld books was 66.

by Jennie Kermode

Terry Pratchett: “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.”
Terry Pratchett: “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.”

The much-loved author Terry Prachett, whose books The Hogfather, The Colour Of Magic and Going Postal became popular TV movies, has passed away at the age of 66 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

"Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night," his official Twitter account declared.

Pratchett's publisher, Larry Finlay, said in a statement "I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds.

"In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention."

In a busy life, Pratchett wrote more than 40 books, received a knighthood and made his own sword to go with it, became a leading figure in the Humanist movement, campaigned to save wild orangutans, nurtured carnivorous plants and drank a great deal of real ale. “It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it,” he said.

In 2007, the author revealed that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Alzheimer's disease. He was determined to keep on working for as long as he could, and published his final novel last year. Fearful of a long, slow decline, he campaigned for the right to die with dignity and made a documentary called Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die in 2011, which he spoke about at Doc/Fest.

Pratchett died at home with his family beside him and his cat sleeping on his bed. He is survived by his wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna.

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