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An Obituary for a National Treasure

Australian novelist Colleen McCullough, who wrote The Thorn Birds, died on Thursday at age 77. Her obituary at The Australian (warning: auto play video) began with this paragraph:

COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.”

Fans and non-fans alike were struck that, after a lifetime of accomplishment as both a scientist and an author, McCullough’s obituary would begin with her appearance and then her relationships with men. The reaction was immediate, as pointed out by The Guardian. New Zealand’s Stuff reacted by composing similar obituaries for renowned male authors. Twitter users mocked The Australian by using the same style for their own obituaries under the hashtag #myozobituary.

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