Jun 06, 2013

By Scott Walker

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A British novelist who satirized everything from apartheid to college life in a series of bestsellers has died.

Tom Sharpe first sharpened his satirical axe as a young man working in South Africa. He was deported in 1961 for criticizing the apartheid regime.

His first novel was set in South Africa. 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 was Sharpe’s editor at Random House. She says he was “witty, often outrageous, always acutely funny about the absurdities of life.”

Tom Sharpe was 85.

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