MS 8294
Papers of Nene Gare (1919-1994)



Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1939-1994
  • 4.06 m. (29 boxes) + 1 folio package

The collection was purchased from Nene Gare in 1993. An addition was received from Frank Gare in 1994.

The collection includes letters, correspondence, notebooks, personal documents, invitations, photographs, newspaper cuttings, publications and drafts of short stories and novels including The fringe dwellers, Green gold, A house with verandahs, An island away, Bend to the wind and "Kate Kempster".

Correspondents include Frank Gare, Manuela Cannatelli, Denise Gutteres, Joan Long, Derek Van Abbé, Sue Haynes, Tim Curnow, Geoffrey Dutton, Suzanne Falkiner, Florence James, Ursula Winant, Dale Spender, Bruce Beresford, Sue Milliken and Macmillan publishers.

The collection has been largely arranged into the present series structure by Library staff. The papers were received in disordered state with the exception of the series of carbon copies of letters by Gare (series 1) and parts of series 2. The contents of files maintained by Gare have been retained in original order.

Other material held by the Library relating to Nene Gare includes an oral history interview with Hazel De Berg held by the Oral History Section at ORAL DeB 914 and a photograph of Gare held by the Pictorial Section at PIC P178 LOC Q92.

Biographical Note

Nene Gare (1919-1994) was born Doris Violet May Wadham, the daughter of John Henry Wadham and Mary Wadham (nee Hounslow). She was brought up in Adelaide and educated at Adelaide Art School and Perth Technical School. After graduation, Gare worked as a typist in Adelaide from 1938-39. In 1939 she met Frank Ellis Gare on a visit to Perth and married him in 1941. In 1939-42 she worked as a typist with H.V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd in Perth.

In 1946-8 Gare accompanied her husband to Salamaua, Papua New Guinea, where he was employed as a patrol officer. Later the couple moved to Carnarvon, WA, where they managed a banana plantation. In 1952-54 Frank Gare was employed as a district officer with the Native Welfare Department in Carnarvon, and 1954-62 in Geraldton.

Nene Gare's first published novel was The fringe dwellers (1961) which fictionalised the interaction of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Geraldton. Later novels bore a strong biographical element including Green gold (1963) which drew on her experiences when banana growing in Carnarvon, A house with verandahs (1980) relating to the childhood in Adelaide, and An island away (1981), on the life of a patrol officer's wife in Papua New Guinea.

Gare also wrote numerous short stories, some of which were published in Bend to the wind (1978) and in various anthologies. She also contributed stories and reviews to the Bulletin, Meanjin, Overland, the West Australian and the Canberra Times. Her novel The fringe dwellers was filmed by director Bruce Beresford in 1986.

Gare worked as an artist and was awarded prizes in the Canning Art Awards for 1971, 1972, 1976 and 1978. She was also involved in the People for Nuclear Disarmament and was Programme Chair for the Geraldton Branch of the Business and Professional Women's Association.

The Gares had three children, Leif, Arran and Shelley.

Series List

  1. Letters, 1945-93
  2. Family correspondence, 1940-87
  3. Business correspondence, 1957-93
  4. General correspondence, 1941-93
  5. Notebooks, 1940-88
  6. Personal documents, 1939-94
  7. Novels, 1953-93
    (a) Fringe dwellers, 1961-93
    (b) Green gold, 1953-64
    (c) A house with verandahs, 1975-80
    (d) An island away, c. 1981
    (e) "Kate Kempster"
    (f) "Are husbands human?"
  8. Short stories, 1945-c. 1990
    (a) Bend to the wind, 1977-79
    (b) Other stories, 1945-c. 1990
  9. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1961-90
  10. Art papers, 1964-93
  11. Course papers, 1980-82
  12. Invitations, 1939-87
  13. Photographs, 1956-68
  14. Newspaper cuttings, 1951-84
  15. Publications, 1961-86
  16. Family papers, 1943-83
  17. Other papers, 1947-81

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Letters, 1945-93

Mainly typescript carbon copies and some original letters to friends and family, 1949-93. Also includes letters to her husband Frank, 1945-71 including letters written to him while he was in Papua New Guinea, from Carnarvon and from Geraldton. The letters are very detailed and are mainly personal and domestic in nature. The bulk of the letters document the years 1981-92.

Folder                                                                  

1-16  Letters from Nene Gare to Frank Gare, 1945-88                      
17    Letters, 1949-76                                                     
18    Letters, 1977-80                                                     
19    Letters, 1981                                                        
20    Letters, 1982                                                        
21    Letters, 1983                                                        
22-23 Letters, 1984                                                     
24-25 Letters, 1985                                                     
26-27 Letters, 1986                                                     
28    Letters, 1987                                                        
29    Letters, 1988                                                        
30-31 Letters, 1989                                                     
32    Letters, 1990                                                        
33-34 Letters, 1991                                                     
35    Letters, 1992                                                        
36    Letters, 1993 and undated letters                                    
37-38 Letters to Frank Gare, undated                                    

Series 2 Family correspondence, 1940-87

The correspondence includes telegrams and originals and photocopies of correspondence from Frank Gare, 1940-87; Nene's parents, John and Mary Wadham; her sisters, Thelma, Mona, Peg, Joan and Phyl; and from her daughters Shelley and Leif.

Folder                                                                  

1      Frank Gare, 1940-44                                                   
2      Frank Gare, 1945                                                      
3      Frank Gare, 1946                                                      
4      Frank Gare, 1947-54                                                   
5      Frank Gare, 1957-87 and undated                                       
6-7    Thelma, 1971-87                                                     
8      Mary and John Wadham, 1943-59                                         
9      Mona, 1946-77                                                         
10     Peg, 1943-87                                                         
11     Shelley Balme (nee Gare), undated                                    
12     Leif Gare, undated                                                   
13     Other family correspondence, 1943-78 and undated                     

Series 3 Business correspondence, 1957-93

Files containing mainly correspondence with publishers, agents, professional associations, universities and schools. The letters are primarily of a professional nature although many also have personal elements. Most of the files contain carbon copies of Gare's letters, and some also contain royalty statements, cuttings, manuscripts and other papers. The correspondence spans Gare's professional life and relates to the publication of books, short stories and reviews by Gare as well as book readings, broadcasts, addresses and public appearances.

Major correspondents include Sue Haynes of Macmillan, Methuen Haynes and Allen and Unwin; Gare's agent Tim Curnow of Curtis Brown; Geoffrey Dutton; Suzanne Falkiner; Florence James; Ursula Winant; Dale Spender; and Macmillan publishers.

Folder                                                                  

1   Allen and Unwin, 1988-90 (includes Gare's answers to interview        
    questions)                                                              
2   Allen and Unwin, 1982-91 (also Methuen Haynes)                        
3   Angus and Robertson, 1975-88                                          
4   Antipodes, 1990-92                                                    
5   Australian Book Review, 1975-91                                       
6   Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1977-91                          
7   Canberra Times, 1976-78                                               
8   Curtis Brown, 1978-93                                                 
9   Dent, 1988                                                            
10  Geoffrey Dutton, 1976-89                                             
11  Suzanne Falkiner, 1983-93                                            
12  Fellowship of Australian Writers, 1987-93                            
13  Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1982-92                                 
14  Film Australia, 1992 (includes transcript of 1976 interview with     
    Hazel De Berg)                                                          
15  Max Harris, 1962-80                                                  
16  William Heinemann, 1961-90                                           
17  Florence James, 1957-92 (and Ursula Winant of Winant, Tower Ltd)     
18  Macmillan, 1977-92                                                   
19  Meanjin, 1975-78                                                     
20  Pascoe Publishing, 1987-92                                           
21  Penguin, 1981-90                                                     
22  Dale Spender, 1987-89                                                
23  University of Queensland Press, 1976-84                              
24  University of Sydney, 1967-85                                        
25  University of Western Australia, 1984                                
26  Vogue, 1986-87                                                       
27  Who's Who of Australian Women, 1973-85                               
28  Correspondence with students and teachers, 1978-82                   
29  Correspondence with writers and students, 1980-91                    
30  Public Lending Right, 1975-92                                        
31  Miscellaneous business correspondence, 1943-79                       
32  Miscellaneous business correspondence, 1961-88                       

Series 4 General correspondence, 1941-93

Correspondence files (arranged alphabetically) and loose correspondence (arranged chronologically) of a personal and general nature. The correspondence files contain some carbon copies of letters by Gare and other papers. The correspondence with Manuela Cannatelli and Denise Gutteres includes discussions of Gare's novels and Aboriginal people. Other correspondents include film producer Joan Long, Derek Van Abbé of the University of Adelaide, Dymphna Cusack, and Helen Wechsler.

Folder                                                                  

1      Manuela Cannatelli, 1990-93                                           
2      Charities, 1980-91                                                    
3      Victor France, 1989                                                   
4      Denise Gutteres, 1992-93                                              
5      Joan Long, 1982-92                                                    
6      Derek Van Abbé, 1956-58                                               
7      Correspondence, 1941-49                                               
8      Correspondence, 1953-59                                               
9      Correspondence, 1960-65                                               
10     Correspondence, 1966-69                                              
11     Correspondence, 1970-74                                              
12     Correspondence, 1975-78                                              
13     Correspondence, 1980-90                                              
14-15  Undated correspondence                                            

Series 5 Notebooks, 1940-88

Notebooks containing housekeeping accounts, 1964-76; historical notes on Rottnest Island; French notes, 1940; accounts and rejection lists for short stories, 1943-57; character sketches for stories; pencil sketches and other notes (2 folders).

Series 6 Personal documents, 1939-94

Job references, 1939-42; literary agreements, 1960-87; and biographical papers including a transcript of a 1986 interview and a biographical file assembled by Frank Gare containing obituaries, letters of condolence on the death of Gare, Who's who entries, copies of self portraits, a published interview, photographs, publications and cuttings (3 folders).

Series 7 Novels, 1953-93

(a)  Fringe dwellers, 1961-93                                            
      Published by Sun Books, 1961.  Filmed by Bruce Beresford, 1986.         

Folder                                                                  

1     Corrected typescript marked "original draft"                          

2-3   Corrected typescript                                                

4     Cuttings and reviews of The fringe dwellers, 1961-66 and published    
      booklet entitled Fringe dwellers (1959)                                 

5     Papers relating to the filming of The fringe dwellers including       
      cuttings; correspondence with Bruce Beresford, Rhoisin Beresford,       
      Virginia Beresford, producer Sue Milliken, Ursula Winant and others,    
      1977-93; crew list; and an account by Gare of her experiences with the  
      filming of the novel                                                    

6     Correspondence and legal documents relating to the film rights 
      for The fringe dwellers, 1978-85                                            

7-8   Scripts for the screenplay                                          

9     Notebook, autograph book and other papers                             

10    Cuttings relating to Bruce Beresford and the film of The fringe dwellers,
      1984-92                                                       

(b)  Green gold, 1953-64                                                 
      Published by Heinemann, 1963.  Working title "Green bananas".           

Folder                                                                  

1-6   Undated corrected typescripts                                       

7     Cuttings used for researching Green gold, 1953-61                     

8     Cuttings and reviews, 1963-64                                         

(c)  A house with verandahs, 1975-80                                     
      Published by Macmillan, 1980.  Working title "Barefoot days".           

Folder                                                                  

1-8   Corrected typescripts, one dated 12 Sept. 1975                      

9     Typescripts with typesetting annotations                              

10-11 Page proofs, 19 Sept. 1979 and 15 Nov. 1979                       

12    Cuttings, 1980 and paperback cover                                   

(d)  An island away, c. 1980-82                                          
      Published by Macmillan, 1981.  Working titles "Help in the house" and   
     "Sangu".                                                                

Folder                                                                  

1-2   Bound, corrected typescript entitled "Help in the house"            

3-6   Corrected typescripts entitled "Sangu"                              

7     Corrected proofs; cuttings, 1982 and paperback cover                  

(e)  "Kate Kempster", 1987-89                                            
      Unpublished novel.  Other working title "The quintessential family".    

Folder/piece                                                            

1     Possibly an early draft of "Kate Kempster"                            

2-7   Early corrected typescript drafts                                   

8-15  Corrected typescripts.  Folders 14 and 15 include correspondence   
      with publishers, 1987-89                                                

(f)  "Are husbands human?"                                               
      Unpublished novel.                                                      

Folder                                                                  

1-2   Undated typescript drafts                                           

Series 8 Short stories, 1945-c. 1990

(a)  Bend to the wind, 1977-79                                           
      Published by Macmillan, 1978.                                           

Folder                                                                  

1-5   Annotated typescripts and notes                                     

6     Typescript with typesetting annotations, 1978                         

7     Page proofs, 16 Dec. 1977                                             

8     Cuttings, reviews and rejected design for book cover, 1977-79         

(b)  Other stories, 1945-c. 1990                                         

Folder                                                                  

1     Cuttings and publications containing early stories, 1945-56.  Also    
      includes some typescripts, correspondence and other papers              

2-6   Typescript short stories for "Kent Town stories" and others (to be  
      published as "The maid and magpie" by Wakefield Press at the time of    
      Gare's death).                                                          

7-10  Typescript of other stories, some reworked chapters from her       
      novels                                                                  

Series 9 Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1961-90

Typescripts, notes, cuttings and other papers relating to reviews, articles, scripts and other writings by Gare (3 folders).

Series 10 Art papers, 1964-93

Papers relating to Gare's career as an artist, including invitations, catalogues, price lists, cuttings, leaflets, publications, prize certificates, and correspondence. The papers relate to exhibitions held by Gare, the donation of artworks to organisations and the donation of proceeds from exhibitions to charities including the Dogs' Refuge Home, WA AIDS Council, Amnesty International and People for Nuclear Disarmament.

Folder                                                                  

1    Papers relating to exhibitions by Gare at Red Cross Art Show,         
     1969-71; the garden of Marianne and Ferry Korwill, 1976; and Gallery    
     Fifty Two, 1980                                                         

2    Canning Art Award, 1971-78                                            

3    Canning Art Centre Exhibition, 1990                                   

4    Miscellaneous art papers, 1964-81                                     

Series 11 Course papers, 1980-82

Lecture notes, assignments, course results and other papers relating to Gare's enrolment as an external student at Murdoch University, 1980-81 to study French, literature and semiotics (3 folders).

Series 12 Invitations, 1939-87

Invitations received by Nene and Frank Gare (2 folders).

Series 13 Photographs, 1956-68

Photographs of Gare, social functions and other subjects (1 folder).

Series 14 Newspaper cuttings, 1951-84

Newspaper cuttings including articles on Gare, Bruce Beresford, and other articles of interest collected by Gare (2 folders).

Reviews and other cuttings relating to Gare's novels and short stories are in series 7 and 8.

Series 15 Publications, 1961-86

Publications including book reviews by Gare published in Australian book review; book catalogues featuring titles by Gare; and articles on and by Gare (2 folders).

Series 16 Family papers, 1943-83

Exam results, sketches, cuttings, personal documents, letters, school work, graduation records and other papers relating to Arran Gare, 1943-83; correspondence and artwork of Leif Gare; family correspondence of Frank Gare; and correspondence of Shelley Gare, 1969-75 (4 folders and 1 folio package).

Series 17 Other papers, 1947-81

Includes papers relating to the Geraldton Business and Professional Women's Club, 1955-61; travel papers, 1959-60; poetry and other writings by other authors including Hal Colebatch, Fay Zwicky and Felix Twofold; and miscellaneous papers including catalogues, notes, children's drawings, sketches, and other papers, 1947-81 (4 folders).

Box List

Series                Folder/piece                 Box            

   1                       1-18                       1             
                          19-25                       2             
                          26-31                       3             
                          32-38                       4             

   2                       1-8                        5             
                           9-13                       6             

   3                       1-7                        6             
                           8-17                       7             
                          18-29                       8             
                          30-32                       9             

   4                       1-4                        9             
                           5-11                       10            
                          12-15                       11            
   5                       1-2                        11            

   6                       1-3                        12            

   7a                      1-3                        12            
                           4-9                        13            
                            10                        14            

   7b                      1-4                        14            
                           5-8                        15            

   7c                      1-2                        15            
                           3-9                        16            
                          10-12                       17            

   7d                      1-4                        17            
                           5-7                        18            

   7e                       2                         18            
                          1, 3-4                      19            
                           5-8                        20            
                           9-11                       21            
                          12-14                       22            
                            15                        23            

   7f                      1-2                        23            

   8a                      1-4                        23            
                           5-8                        24            

   8b                       1                         24            
                           2-6a                       25            
                           7-10                       26            

   9                       1-3                        26            

   10                      1-4                        27            

   11                      1-3                        27            

   12                      1-2                        28            

   13                       1                         28            

   14                      1-2                        28            

   15                      1-2                        28            

   16                      1-4                        29            

   17                      1-4                        29            

Compiled June 1995. Last updated 4 April 1997