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'Plain and overweight': This dreadful obituary of a female author is causing a storm online

Twitter users are posting their own obituaries in response to an Australian newspaper’s gaffe.

Anonymous Anonymous

BESTSELLING AUTHOR and former neuroscientist Colleen McCullough died yesterday, at the age of 77.

The Australian writer’s best-known work The Thorn Birds sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was the basis for one of the most-watched TV mini-series of all time.

This is how Australia’s biggest-selling national newspaper, The Australian, began her obituary:

Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth.

The obit caused an immediate backlash online, with authors and others reacting angrily.

According to independent Australian news siteCrikey, the obituary was the work of a male writer who has “since passed away himself”.

In response to the gaffe, the Australian’s rival the Sydney Morning Herald published a selection of descriptions of male authors:

Thin-nosed, and certainly balding, William Shakespeare was nevertheless a decent poet with an ear for dialogue.

And Twitter users have been posting their own satirical obits under the hashtag #myozobituary:

More: Colleen McCullough, who wrote the hugely successful book ‘The Thorn Birds’, has died>

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