Things To Look Forward To 

David Gaunt has owned Gleebooks with partner Roger Mackell since 1976.

June 2017

 - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I wouldn’t usually use this space to mark the death of others, but I’d like to pay tribute to two people with long and meaningful relationships with me personally, with Gleebooks, and with the broader community who died in the last few weeks.

Rose Creswell died after a long illness on April 19th. She had been hospitalised for some years in the Blue Mountains, before her death, and her partner of many years, Roger Milliss, has both our sympathy and the recognition of his great devotion to her across those years. A cruel illness robbed her in her final years of recognition of the rich bounty of friends and industry colleagues whose relationships she had nurtured during her life. Rose established the first Australian-owned literary agency, in 1979. My strongest personal memories are of the decade we were working neighbours in the 1980s. Rose’s first office was upstairs, two doors down from the old Gleebooks, opposite St Johns Church. Rose conducted a lively business here (and, it ought to be said, from ‘the Habit’ Wine Bar, two doors further up the hill), for a decade, and Gleebooks has the fondest memories of those days. And the greatest admiration for Rose’s trail-blazing efforts on behalf of her stable of some of Australia’s best writers during a time of justifiable pride in a burgeoning local publishing scene. She had a fine and discerning intellect, a fierce determination to represent her writers, and was a very significant figure in the Australian literary landscape. Her friends and loved ones mourn her illness and death, but celebrate her life with deep respect and fondness.

Rosie Scott died on May 4th, from brain cancer. A very fine writer of novels, short stories, and essays, Rosie was also a fierce and dedicated social justice advocate. As well as her acclaimed fiction, Rosie was responsible for two important works she co-edited (one with Tom Keneally, the other with Anita Heiss) which demonstrated her passionate concern for asylum seekers and Indigenous Australians. She was a great mentor to younger writers, and a teacher of creative writing. Nobody who came to know her could fail to acknowledge her warmth, her compassion, her intellect, and her beautiful shining spirit. I will miss her keen eye and always engaged and engaging conversation. Rosie cared enormously for people and justice. Much loved and missed. David Gaunt