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Gillian Mears Gillian Mears i(A33921 works by)
Born: Established: 21 Jul 1964 Lismore, Lismore - Goonellabah, Lismore area, Far Northeast NSW, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 16 May 2016
Gender: Female
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Gillian Mears grew up in north coast towns of New South Wales. She began the study of Archaeology at the University of Sydney but did not finish her degree. She took a position as a laboratory assistant in the university and, in 1982, began to write fiction. Her writing benefited from writing classes at the University of Technology, Sydney, in which she had the assistance of writers such as Susan Hampton, Drusilla Modjeska and Stephen Muecke (qq.v.). Mears completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communication at that University in 1985 and returned to Grafton to her close-knit family. She travelled to Africa on a grant to research a novel on her father's English grandmother and mother. The work was abandoned. Mears spent six months in Paris at the Keesing Writers' Studio in 1991. She has suffered from a form of locomotor ataxia which deepened as she turned thirty-five. Mears continued to live quietly on a farm outside Grafton, New South Wales.

Writing since she was twenty, Mears has received many prizes and awards including the Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1990 for her novel The Mint LawnLt). Writing with a joy and a passion, Mears draws heavily on her own experiences, bringing alive the Northern rivers region of New South Wales. Mears has always had a strong connection with landscape and place, expressed through her fiction and her involvement in Green politics. Her collection Fineflour (1990) attracted notoriety as it was removed from the Higher School Certificate syllabus in New South Wales on the grounds that the stories failed to meet the Higher School Certificate Board's criteria of 'literary merit, broad community, ethical and moral standards'.

Gilliam Mears died in 2016, after living for many years with multiple sclerosis.

(Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2005; Emma Sorensen, 'A Map of Mears [Interview]', Meanjin 61,3 (1999): 72-80; Emma Sorensen, 'The Unflinching Gaze: In Conversation with Gillian Mears', Antipodes 16,2 (December 2002): 125-131.)

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Cat With The Coloured Tail Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2015 8722356 2015 single work children's fiction children's fable

'A magical cat, an ice-cream van that makes delicious moon-creams and a quest to bring joy to those who need it most.

'Mr Hooper and The Cat with the Coloured Tail travel through the countryside in their ice-cream van. They enjoy looking for heart shapes (their favourite game) and making people happy with their delicious moon-creams. But a dark feeling is following the cat. Something is wrong. When the ice-cream van enters the forest, Mr Hooper and the cat realise the heart of the world is in danger. Will they be able to save it? A lyrical fable about love and healing.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year for Older Children
2016 shortlisted The Readings Children’s Book Prize
2016 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Eight to 10 Years
y separately published work icon Foal's Bread Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1821887 2011 single work novel (taught in 4 units)

'The sound of horses' hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn't totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn't died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he's pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.

'Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal's Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land.

'It is a love story of impossible beauty and sadness, a chronicle of dreams 'turned inside out', and miracles that never last, framed against a world both tender and unspeakably hard. Written in luminous prose and with an aching affinity for the landscape the book describes, Foal's Bread is the work of a born writer at the height of her considerable powers. It is a stunning work of remarkable originality and power, one that confirms Gillian Mears' reputation as one of our most exciting and acclaimed writers.' (From the publisher's website.)

2012 winner APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Literary Fiction / Poetry Cover esigned by Sandy Cull, gogoGinko, and Yolande Gray
2014 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Fiction
2013 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2013 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2011 winner Colin Roderick Award
2012 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction
2012 winner The Age Book of the Year Award Fiction Prize
2012 shortlisted Australian Booksellers Association Awards Booksellers Choice Award
2012 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2012 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2012 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year
2012 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian General Fiction Book of the Year
2012 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2012 shortlisted Barbara Jefferis Award
2012 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2012 shortlisted Indie Awards Fiction
Alive in Ant and Bee 2007 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Heat , no. 13 (New Series) 2007; (p. 7-30) Heart Matters : Personal Stories about That Heart-Stopping Moment 2010; (p. 95-125)
2006 shortlisted The Calibre Prize
Last amended 19 May 2016 14:35:45
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