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The Guardian (13/Jan/1999) - Obituary: Brian Moore

(c) The Guardian (13/Jan/1999)

Author Brian Moore dies

Brian Moore, the acclaimed Belfast-born author, has died in hospital in California after a short illness. He was 77.

He died from a lung clot caused by emphysema. His second wife, Jean, was at his bedside when he died early on Monday.

Critics praised his 45-year career. Belfast writer Sam McAughtry said: "He was the greatest male writer who could write accurately from the woman's point of view."

His early works were set in Ireland. He won acclaim for setting later books in different places around the world.

Moore was nominated three times for the Booker prize, but never won. Graham Greene was his biggest fan.

His family background was middle-class and nationalist, and he was never quite able to shake off his Catholic roots. His background was a key part in his novels, even when there was little reference to Ireland.

Moore left Belfast in 1948, later saying he hated the city because of sectarian friction.

His brother, Seamus, said: "He liked the place more than he would let on. He came back every couple of years or so."

He emigrated to Canada, partly because he had fallen in love with a woman who lived there. He took Canadian citizenship.

He began writing novels in 1953, quitting his job as a journalist.

One of his best known was The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, about an alcoholic Belfast woman losing her faith. It was made into a film in 1987.

At Alfred Hitchcock's request, he moved to California in 1966 to write a script for the film Torn Curtain. He set up home in Malibu.

He leaves his wife, Jean, and son, Michael