Georgia Blain

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Georgia Blain
BornGeorgia Frances Elise Blain
12 December 1964
Sydney, Australia
Died9 December 2016(2016-12-09) (aged 51)

Georgia Frances Elise Blain (12 December 1964[1] – 9 December 2016) was an Australian novelist, journalist and biographer.[2]


Born in Sydney in 1964 to journalist and broadcaster Anne Deveson (d. 2016) and broadcaster Ellis Blain (d. 1978),[3] Georgina Blain completed an arts degree at the University of Adelaide before returning to Sydney where she studied law at the University of Sydney.[4] She worked as a journalist commencing work in 1990 as a lawyer with the Australian Copyright Council[4] and wrote many articles for their Bulletin (ISSN 0311-2934).

Her first novel was Closed for Winter. One of her most recent works Births, Deaths and Marriages, a memoir of her childhood, was short-listed for the 2009 Nita Kibble Literary Award.[4]

The draft of Closed for Winter 1996 earned her an Australian Society of Authors' mentorship with Rosie Scott. She later commented that without this relationship and guidance she may not have completed the novel.[4]

When editing Between a Wolf and a Dog in 2015 Blain was diagnosed with brain cancer. A diagnosis which mirrored the story of Hilary, one of the main characters in the novel.

Novelist Charlotte Wood called Between a Wolf and a Dog

a novel of devastating clarity that traverses Blain's familiar terrain: the ordinary sadnesses in families, betrayal and forgiveness, the small, potent beauties of daily life that we allow to slip unnoticed through our fingers". In all her books Blain ruminates on families, siblings, loss, death, marriages and partnerships, in prose of stunning clarity and penetrating insight. Her writing is superbly paced and structured, and she has a gift for conjuring beaches, bush, and the suburbs of Sydney and Adelaide.[4]

She was, "... Acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and essayist who transformed the everyday into works of extraordinary beauty and clarity."[4]

Blain wrote a regular column for The Saturday Paper about her experiences with brain cancer.[5][6]

She completed a draft of a final work before her death, a memoir entitled The Museum of Words, published by Scribe in 2017.[4][7]




  • Closed for Winter (ISBN 0140272070) Penguin, 1998
  • Candelo (ISBN 0140272062) Penguin, 1999
  • The Blind Eye (ISBN 0670912220) Penguin 2001
  • Names for Nothingness (ISBN 033036488X) Picador, 2004
  • Darkwater (ISBN 9781864719833) Random House, 2010
  • Too Close to Home (ISBN 9781864711776) Random House, 2011
  • Special (ISBN 9780857988089) Random House, 2016
  • Between a Wolf and a Dog (ISBN 1925321118) Scribe, 2016

Collected stories[edit]

  • The Secret Lives of Men (9781922070357) Scribe, 2013[8]


  • Births Deaths Marriages (ISBN 1741668603) Vintage, 2008
  • Bulletin (Australian Copyright Council) (ISSN 0311-2934) numerous articles which may be located on Trove using Author Blain, Georgia
  • The Museum of Words (ISBN 9781925322255) Scribe, 2017


  • Closed for Winter (2009) adapted by Georgia Blain and James Bogle[9]


Closed for Winter[edit]

1999 named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists[4]

Births Deaths Marriage[edit]

2009 Shortlisted for the Nita B. Kibble Literary Award[10]


2012 Shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Young Adult[11]

The Secret Lives of Men[edit]

2014 Shortlisted Christina Stead Prize for Fiction NSW Premier's Literary Awards[12]

2014 Longlisted for the Nita B. Kibble Literary Award[12]

Between a Wolf and a Dog[edit]

2016 Winner The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award (Queensland Literary Award)[13]

2017 Winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.[14]

2017 Shortlisted ALS Gold Medal.[15]

2017 Longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards[16]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Sydney in 1964 to journalist and broadcaster Anne Deveson and broadcaster Ellis Blain. She had two brothers, Jonathan (was diagnosed with schizophrenia and died by suicide) and Joshua. Her childhood was spent in various cities and the family moved to Sydney, Tuscany and Adelaide, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide.[4]

In 1998 she and her partner Andrew Taylor welcomed daughter Odessa.

Her writing was influenced by the difficult relationship of her mother and the children with father Ellis Blain. "His presence alone created tension; it was the threat of what he might do that kept us tiptoeing, scared, around him, ... Blain had long terrorised the home he shared with one of the country's best-known feminists with the threat and practice of physical violence ".[2]

Georgia Blain died on 9 December 2016 from brain cancer which had been diagnosed in November 2015.[17][18] Her mother, Anne Deveson, died three days later on 12 December.[19]


  1. ^ "Georgia Blain Death Notice". Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b McGilvray, Annabel (29 March 2008). "The Face: Georgia Blain". The Australian. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Papers of Ellis Blain". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gleeson-White, Jane (15 December 2016). "Georgia Blain, novelist whose work mirrored personal tragedy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  5. ^ Blain, Georgia (8 October 2016). "Choose control". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ Nelson, Camilla. "Goodbye Georgia Blain: a brave and true chronicler of life". The Conversation. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  7. ^ Charls, Stella (21 August 2017). "The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain". Readings. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  8. ^ O'Dea, Denise (April 2013). "None of a type". Australian Book Review. 350: 23. (review of The Secret Lives of Men)
  9. ^ "Closed for Winter (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Short list for Kibble and Dobbie Awards announced 29 April 2009" (PDF). Media release. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2012 Young Adult Shortlist". Readings. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  12. ^ a b "The Secret Lives of Men". Scribe. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  13. ^ "2016 Queensland Literary Award winners". Queensland Literary Awards. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Victorian Premier's Literary Award 2017 winners: Georgia Blain wins posthumous prize 13 January 2017". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ "ALS Gold Medal 2017 shortlist announced". Books + Publishing. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  16. ^ "ABIA Longlist Announced 2017". Scribe. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  17. ^ Keen, Suzie (13 December 2016). "Mourning a literary mother and daughter". InDaily. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  18. ^ Blain, Georgia (26 March 2016). "Mercy and euthanasia". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Anne Deveson, writer and broadcaster, dies days after daughter, novelist Georgia Blain | Australia news". The Guardian. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.