The American writer and publisher, who founded one of the world’s biggest LGBT publishing houses, died of cancer on Thursday at a hospital in Tallahassee, Florida.
The co-founded Naiad press which was known for publishing works such as “Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence” in 1985, which had huge contributions from nuns about their relationships in religious communities.
Her partner of 20 years, Donna McBride said: “It was her belief that through literature she could make lesbians feel good about themselves and find a happy life.”
Before the company was sold to Bella Books, who also published lesbian literature, Naiad published 36 books a year, Barbara Grier then retired in 2003.
Donna McBride said that Grier was “a saviour to isolated lesbians all over the world, many of whom feel intense gratitude,”
Author Karin Kallmaker, whose first novel was published by Naiad Press in 1989 said: “I have no doubt that books save lives and Barbara put books into the lesbian universe at a rate no one in that era matched.”
Grier’s body was cremated and there will be no funeral service, her ashes are likely to be scattered in the Bahamas.