Author of Puberty Blues Gabrielle Carey Has Died Aged 64

Australian co-author of Puberty Blues, Gabrielle Carey, has died aged 64.

The novel Puberty Blues is considered to be a landmark in Australian fiction. Carey wrote the book with Kathy Lette when they were both teenagers, with the title touching on sexism in Australian youth culture and surf scene in the 1970s.

Published in 1979, it was adapted into a movie in 1981 and later into a television series that lasted for two seasons in 2012. Her co-author, Lette, paid tribute to her friend on Twitter, writing: “I’m deeply saddened by the tragic news about my old friend Gabrielle Carey. I have such happy memories of our teenage years. They were halcyon, heady days full of love, laughter, and adventure.

“We made some mischief and broke some barriers by writing Puberty Blues – our raw, earthy take on the brutal treatment of young women in the Australian surfing scene which is sadly, still so relevant. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.”

Schoolfriends Carey and Lette also wrote a column in the Sun-Herald under the name the Salami Sisters.

Throughout her life, Carey tried to avoid the spotlight, moving to Ireland and Mexico, before returning to work in Australian academia.

She also wrote Just Us, a title about her relationship with a prisoner at Parramatta jail. That was also adapted for the screen.
Her latest title, Only Happiness Here: In Search of Elizabeth von Arnim, was critically acclaimed and even nominated for the Nib Literary Award.

At the time of her death, she was working on a book about James Joyce. However, she will be most widely remembered for Puberty Blues, which is a quintessential piece of Australian writing.

She also lectured in several Australian universities and is survived by her son and daughter.


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  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.