Hilary McPhee Interview

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hilary_mcphee.jpg    Continuing Jason Steger's literary lunches, this past week he spoke with Hilary McPhee, who, in 1975, founded McPhee Gribble publishers with the late Di Gribble.

The last time I saw Hilary McPhee was at a distance. It was October at the funeral of Di Gribble, her great friend and cohort in the publishing company, McPhee Gribble. She looked - not surprisingly - stricken with grief.

The two were in the vanguard of Australians trying to break the British grip on domestic publishing. They acquired rights from the US, tried to build a list of books in translation and first published writers such as Tim Winton and Helen Garner.

''It's very hard,'' she says now, ''when a friend who has been an absolutely critical part of your life is no longer there. Her daughter Anna, my god-daughter, is very like Di, very forthright. I said to Di before she died that she'd left us with Anna, 'who is going to remind us of you all the time because she's so like you'. In manner and character.''

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 16, 2012 6:47 AM.

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Reprint: Mystery of Poet Stirs 'Varsity: Challenge Over Ern Malley is the next entry in this blog.

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