James Michener dies, aged 90

Click to follow
The American writer James Michener died last night, days after telling doctors to disconnect him from kidney dialysis.

Michener, who was 90, was one of the world's best-selling authors, drawing on a rich experience of life all over the world for his historical novels.

His career began late in life with Tales of the South Pacific, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and was the basis for South Pacific, the celebrated musical and film.

Born in New York in 1907, Michener was a teacher and book editor before enlisting in the US Navy during the Second World War. After the success of his first book he toured the world, absorbing material for successive novels including Voice of Asia (1951), and The Bridge at Andau, which drew on his experience of the Hungarian uprising of 1956. In 1974, Michener finished his epic Centennial, the story of settler life in Colorado which became a 26-hour television mini-series.

The Texas-based writer's latest book, A Century of Sonnets, appeared earlier this year .

He confessed to being no stylist but said: "What I can do is put a good narrative together and hold the reader's interest."