LAWRENCE DURRELL, noted author of the Alexandria Quartet, has died at his home in southern France, his family say. He was 78. The cause of the novelist's death was not disclosed. Durrell had been "fatigued" for about two weeks, a family member said.

The author died in Sommieres, a small town in the Provence region near the Mediterranean coast, where he had lived since 1966.Durrell, a British citizen, was born in India in 1912 to Irish missionary parents. He was a close friend of American novelist Henry Miller.

Four years ago he emerged briefly from his self-imposed privacy to accept an award of Commander of Arts and Letters bestowed by Sommieres mayor Jean-Marie Cambaceres. He said at the time that he was working on a new book about the Provence region. - Associated Press

- HUGH MacLENNAN, one of Canada's foremost authors, has died at his Montreal home. He was 83. The cause of death was not disclosed.

The prize-winning author wrote several non-fiction books as well as seven novels, including "Two Solitudes," whose title became a byword symbolizing the tensions between French and English Canadians. - Reuter News Service

- YANNIS RITSOS, a Greek poet twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, has died at age 81, his family said.

A lifelong communist who was acclaimed as a working-class hero, Ritsos wrote 117 books, which were translated into 21 languages. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1975 and 1986 and was awarded the Soviet Union's Lenin Prize in 1977. - Reuter News Service