Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vale Gillian Mears

Gillian leaves a rich legacy of Australian literature for generations to come and it makes me sad to think such a modest and talented person has gone at 51 years of age.

Australia Council India Tour with Gillian Mears & David Malouf
Some Personal Reflections. The Mint Lawn was my astonishing introduction to Gillian's writing and I invited her to contribute immediately to a YA collection of short stories The Blue Dress (Heinemann 1991) I was compiling, to which she contributed her memorable story My Mother was Married on Morning Glory Blue.

A few years later I was privileged to be part of an Australia Council tour to India with both David Malouf and Gillian that took us whirling though several cities and for the three writers concerned to many universities and bookshops to talk to our books which were published by Penguin India.

It was memorable to spend three weeks with such writers and I remember particularly Gillian luring me away one night from a reception as she was so keen to see an Indian circus and there just happened to be nearby. She continued to delight with such books as the The Grass Sisters and more recently the powerful Foal's Bread in 2011, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. We kept up a disparate correspondence but I am only sorry I could not attend her 50th birthday last year.

Vale Gillian.