Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, dies at 68

LONDON (AP) — British comic author Sue Townsend, the creator of teenage angst-ridden Adrian Mole, has died after suffering a stroke. She was 68.

Penguin Books confirmed that Townsend died in Leicester, central England. British media reports said she died Thursday.

Townsend left school at 15, married at 18, and by 23 was a single mother of three young children. She worked in a factory, in shops and at other jobs — and wrote, honing her style for years before breaking through into publication.

Her first novel, "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾" was published in 1982 and was hailed as a comic masterpiece.

She is also remembered for a book in which she sent Queen Elizabeth II into exile on a public housing estate.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.