PROVIDENCE -- Faith McNulty, author of the bestselling 1980 book ''The Burning Bed," which focused national attention on domestic violence, has died after a long illness, according to friends. She was 86.
She died Sunday at her South Kingstown farm.
Ms. McNulty also wrote for the ''Talk of the Town" section in The New Yorker magazine for four decades and penned wildlife and children's books, including ''How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World."
''She could write a story about a delicate little field mouse and always retain the hard edge of a journalist, and that's maybe why she could produce something like 'The Burning Bed,' " said Gerry Goldstein, a former chief of The Providence Journal's South County bureau in South Kingstown.
''The Burning Bed" told the story of Francine Hughes, an abused woman who killed her husband by setting him afire as he slept and who was acquitted on self-defense.
The book became a TV movie in 1984 and starred Farrah Fawcett.
Ms. McNulty, a native of New York City, began her career as a newswoman as a copy girl at the New York Daily News.
She also was a reporter and researcher for Life magazine and wrote for Audubon magazine.