Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 13, 2016

Vale Georgia Blain (1964-2016)

It is with sadness that I share the news of the death of Australian author Georgia Blain,  just days before the death of her mother, renowned and much-loved activist, writer and broadcaster Anne Deveson from Alzheimer’s Disease.   Some of us have been reading Blain’s brave journalism about the brain tumour that was to kill her, so we feel this loss keenly.

Georgia Blain was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Novelists in 1998 and went on to feature in numerous awards.

She was the author of eight novels.  I read her Candelo and Names for Nothingness before I started this blog:

She also published a collection of short stories:

and non-fiction:

  • Births, Deaths and Marriages: True Tales. Vintage, 2008, shortlisted for the Nita Kibble Award.

Georgia Blain is survived by her partner, filmmaker Andrew Taylor, and their daughter, Odessa.

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  1. Oh, Lisa, I just made a comment on a FB post about Anne’s death, a journalist I admired. I have a couple of Georgia’s novels – she was an impressive writer. (I remember when I first read her I didn’t know she was Anne’s daughter! I’m not on the ball with the literary scene as you!)
    This is such a loss and so sad. I hope their essence can be reconnected somewhere.


    • Anne was very special to our generation: we grew to know her on the ABC and she was always so active in women’s issues and mental health. But I never read any of her books.
      It is awful to think of her bright and lively mind captive to Alzheimer’s and that she may not have been able to be there for Georgia Blain at the end. And I feel so sorry for the family, these losses always seem magnified at this time of the year too.


  2. I am so sad to hear of Anne Devison’s death and her daughter who I’ve not read as yet. Anne was such a rare human being in all ways it seems. What an amazing family and such great suffering. They will both live on in their writing am sure.


    • They were both amazing women, able to transcend Deveson’s marriage to a violent man and the death by drug overdose of Blain’s sibling Jonathan. Some families just seem to cop a really raw deal, it seems.


  3. This is doubly sad news, as two such strong, gifted women have died of brain diseases which are devastating to the sufferer and those who know and love them.
    I’ve read them both, admire them both. Anne Deveson’s book about her schizophrenic son, Jonathon, ‘Tell Me I’m Here’ is remarkable.


    • I agree, it’s a sad day for Australia.


  4. Very sad. I didn’t know Georgia well, really only from being on a judging panel with her once, though I read her works with admiration.


    • Thanks for this, Dorothy: I know she was more than a significant author and that she contributed to our literary community in other ways than writing, but I couldn’t find anything online about the other contributions she made.


  5. So sad. She was, and is, special.


    • I think her legacy will endure.


  6. Well said Lisa. I’ve read a couple of Georgia Blain’s earlier books and recently reviewed (and liked) Special. I agree, both women will be missed.


  7. So sad


  8. That is so sad. I didn’t know she had a brain tumor. I agree Between a Wolf and a Dog was her best book. Her family have suffered so much. Life is often unfair.


    • 52 is much too young to die…


  9. […] going to focus here on Anne Deveson, partly because Lisa (ANZLitLovers) has written on Georgia Blain’s death and partly because I so admired Deveson. She was one of those people you could rely on to be […]


  10. Excellent, though sad post. I am not familiar with her as I said to Whispering Gums when a person emigrates to another country at age 40 there is a great deal to learn about that country and literary names are not at the top of the list. Our library has several of her books and I plan to check it out. My literary education continues of Australian writers.


    • If globalisation has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t possibly know everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. […] last book before she died in 2016.  She was so young, and so brave.  Take a moment to read her obituary and the accompanying comments to see how much she meant to us […]


  12. […] not like the loss she evokes when writing about the deaths of her mother and her friend the author Georgia Blain.  The loss of a reading culture in contemporary life is deeply felt, and personal too, but there […]


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