Gabrielle Carey, co-writer of Australian coming-of-age novel Puberty Blues has died suddenly at the age of 64.
Carey and her fellow author Kathy Lette wrote the largely autobiographical novel when they were teenagers. It received critical and popular acclaim for its frank depictions of sexism in surf and youth culture in 1970s Sydney.
The book was published in 1979, and turned into a film two years later. In 2012 the novel was adapted to a television series, which aired for two seasons.
Kylie Minogue remembered “devouring it” in her bedroom at 13, while the feminist Germaine Greer called the novel a “profoundly moral story”.
Lette paid tribute on social media.
“I’m deeply saddened by the tragic news about my old friend Gabrielle Carey,” she wrote. “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
The pair met at school and fled the Sutherland shire suburbs in their teens to share a flat, where they wrote Puberty Blues. They also wrote a lively column for the Sun-Herald under the name the Salami Sisters.
Carey later spoke candidly to the ABC about her desire to escape her fame, moving to Ireland, then Mexico for many years before returning to Australia and building a life in academia and writing.
The author, whose father was the writer Alex Carey, wrote nine other books after Puberty Blues, spanning fiction, autobiographies and essays.
Her 1984 book Just Us, relating her relationship with a prisoner at Parramatta jail, was adapted into a telemovie, while her latest title Only Happiness Here: In search of Elizabeth von Arnim was shortlisted for the Nib Literary award. She was working on
a book about James Joyce before her death...