As reported on the main website today, Diana Gribble, co-founder of Private Media (owner of Crikey) and a huge influence in the Australian publishing industry, has passed away.
I only met Di once. She and Sarah Stokely took me to lunch after Crikey had invited me to become one of their bloggers, three years ago. I remember feeling nervous. I was new to Melbourne, fresh on the literary ‘scene’ and was aware of how much I didn’t know. Di was incredibly generous and encouraging. She challenged me on a few points, I remember that. She made me think about the role of my blog (and the internet, in general) in the Australian publishing/critical world. She told us a great story about Helen Garner. I wish I could remember more. I remember thinking she was sophisticated, smart and funny. I feel very sad that I will not get to speak to her again, and to thank her for encouraging me.
Other people today who knew her have written much more detailed and touching tributes:
Sophie Cunningham worked with Di at McPhee Gribble (the legendary publishing company she ran with Hilary McPhee). She has written a tribute at the Meanjin blog.
WH Chong has written a beautiful, moving post on Culture Mulcher.
Text Publishing have shared an article from the Age (Di founded the company), and publisher Michael Heyward will be sharing his thoughts on their blog soon.
Bookseller+Publisher gives us a full account of her career.
She will be missed.