‘Many-Splendoured’ author dies in Lausanne

Chinese-born writer and Swiss resident Elizabeth Comber, whose autobiographical novel was turned into the popular American film "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing", has died, aged 95.

Comber, who wrote 40 books under the pen name Han Suyin, died at her Lausanne home on Friday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The agency cited her family as communicating the news.

Born in Henan province on September 12¨th, 1917, Comber was the daughter of a Chinese railway engineer and his Belgian wife.

She studied medicine in China before continuing her studies in Belgium in the 1930s and later in London.

Her novel, A Many-Splendoured Thing, which was based on a romance she had with an Australian war correspondent, was adapted for the silver screen in 1955.

The theme music of the 1955 film won an Academy Award for best original song.

A qualified physician, Comber wrote several books on modern China, novels set in South-east Asia and autobiographical works.

In her autobiography My House Has Two Doors, she claimed not have seen the film that made her name internationally famous.

She said the film rights were sold to pay for an operation on her adopted daughter who was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis.

She wrote both in English and French.

After marrying Indian colonel Vincent Ratnaswamy in 1960, Comber moved to India before residing in Hong Kong and Switzerland.

She is survived by two daughters.

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