Gillian Mears died on Monday on her family’s property near Grafton. She had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for almost 20 years. Her collection of short stories, Ride a Cock Horse (1988) and her novel The Grass Sister (1995) were both short listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, and her novel The Mint Lawn won the Vogel Literary Award in 1990. In 2012, her first novel in 16 years, Foal’s Bread, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and won the fiction prize in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards – it was also reviewed by Kate Pardey in Rochford Street Review Issue 3.
Mears has been remembered by many at the Sydney Writers’ Festival this week as a great and courageous writer.
“The real extent of Mears achievement is, as with all good books, only fully understood after the last page is read”. Kate Pardey, Rochford Street Review.