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Gabrielle Carey left school at the age of fifteen and first became known as a writer at the age of twenty when she and her friend Kathy Lette published the controversial Puberty Blues, based on their own lives and those of other teenagers in the Sydney surfie set.
She had been raised in an atheist humanist household, but while in Ireland in the mid-eighties was converted to the Catholic faith, becoming convinced of the importance of spirituality in everyday life.
She lived for several years in a small village in Mexico, returning to Australia in the early 1990s. She lives in Sydney and is a freelance writer.
In 2010, Gabrielle Carey was teaching writing at Sydney's University of Technology while working on a book about Randolph Stow and the Swan River Colony families, which was published in 2013. In 2020, she was highly commended for the Hazel Rowley Fellowship for a project on Elizabeth Von Arnim.
'Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets
'As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile.
'Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s west Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her extended family, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich in a quest to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it.
'Moving Among Strangers is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers.'