Vale Gillian Mears

Gillian Mears died in her home on Monday. She was in her early 50s. She will be dearly missed here at Readings, having won over the heart of many a reader with her ferociously beautiful books.

Our Managing Director Mark Rubbo is a longtime fan of Mears, and expressed his sadness at her passing: ‘Gillian was a wonderful writer and enriched all our lives – we will miss her.’

Mears was born in 1964, and grew up around Grafton in northern NSW. Her work is well-entrenched within the tradition of Australian literature, and she has inspired many other writers. Her first novel, The Mint Lawn, won the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, and her final novel for adults, Foal’s Bread, won the Miles Franklin Award – to name just a few of her awards.. Her most recent book is The Cat with the Coloured Tail, a beautifully illustrated children’s fable which has been shortlisted for numerous awards this year.

Mears was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 30. When the debilitating disease forced her into a wheelchair five years ago, she started to become a champion for voluntary euthanasia. You can read a stunning personal essay from Mears on the Meanjin website here, and a 2012 interview with her over at the Kill Your Darlings website here.

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Foal's Bread

Foal’s Bread

Gillian Mears

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