Sadly, short story Geoffrey Dean died last week (19 August 2011). His funeral is on Friday 26 August at 12.30 at Turnbull's in Hobart.
Famous reporter editor Ralph Wessman has paid triubute to Geoff on his blog, Flowerdale, at http://www.walleahpress.com.au/flowerdale/?p=57 and I have put a tribute up on the Roaring Forties Press website at: http://www.roaring-40s-press.com/?p=227
Ralph Wessman ends his post:
"Possibly the degree to which you love someone is measured by the hole left in your heart when he or she is no longer around. You’ll be very much missed mate."
A friend told me today she's never liked the short story genre until I gave her a copy of Geoff's book The Literary Lunch. Today in a sympathy card she wrote: "Geoff: a remarkable, unique and talented man. His passing has left a void in many lives ... Thank you for introducing me to Geoff and his wonderful writings."
It was personal feedback like this that kept Geoff going during the times when recognition for his work was slow in coming. When we sold his book at Salamanca Market, it was the interaction with his readers that inspired him. We also had emails from abroad, from people who had read his early work, wanting more.
It is thanks to the Tasmanian Writers Centre's efforts in recent times that his reputation has grown, and I am pleased that in his lifetime, he was honoured not only by the prizes he won, but by being interviewed on The ABC in three separate programs in recent times.
* ABC TV Stateline Tasmania, feature story, on 3 June 2011 – view online
* 936 ABC Hobart, feature story, on 26 October 2010 (“Once a storyteller, always a storyteller’) – view online
* ABC Radio National’s Book Show, interview by Peter Mares on 17 August 2007 – see transcript, “The art of the short story”, reproduced on the Roaring Forties Press web site with permission.
* In 1994, Ralph Wessman interviewed Geoff for Famous Reporter.
Geoff: in the words of another avid reader of your stories, your passing is a major point in time for the Tasmanian writing scene.