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Helen Garner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Monkey Grip (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moving Out (With: Jan Sardi,JenniferGiles) (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Children's Bach (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cosmo Cosmolino (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spare Room (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Postcards from Surfers (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The First Stone (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Stories (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Feel Of Steel (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Joe Cinque's Consolation (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Consultation on Vulnerable Adults (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
This House of Grief (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Everywhere I Look (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yellow Notebook (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Day I'll Remember This (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to End a Story (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Honour and Other People's Children (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Days of Chez Nous and Two Friends (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Hard Heart (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories: The Collected Short Fiction (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Blacks Books

with John Birmingham, David Malouf, Simon Leys
Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prosper: A Voyage at Sea (By: Simon Leys) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The One Day (By: David Malouf) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Brave Ones (By: John Birmingham) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cypherpunk Revolutionary: On Julian Assange (By: Robert Manne) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Sisters(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reading from the Left(1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Women of Letters: Reviving The Lost Art of Correspondence(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2014(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2015(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2016(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2017(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Helen Garner is a bestselling and award-winning Australian journalist, screenwriter, short story writer, and novelist.

The author was born in 1942 in Geelong, Australia, and has been actively writing since 1977. This was the year that she published the short novel “Monkey Grip” which presented some great lyricism and grit that would become her trademark. It was a very bold start given her history working as a teacher which had ended in controversy.

In the early 1970s, Helen Garner would get into some hot water after she frankly answered some questions about sexuality asked by her students. She would then lose her job and decide to become a writer, even though she has often said that she never made some deliberate shift in her identity even as a writer.

At her core, she has always been about probing and testing her ideas and preconceptions and figuring out things. Ever since she published her debut work, she has kept at it and now has at least half a dozen works that have won many awards over the years.

Like many authors, Helen Garner got into writing very early on and has said that it was probably because she liked the smell of sharpened pencils. As a kid, she used to have a tiny house in her backyard where she used to sit and pretend that she was in a studio, even if she never wrote anything, as all she did was sharpen her pencil.

It is important to note that she never had an ambition of one day becoming a writer, even though he used to write letters and jot down in her diary a lot. Still, she never thought she could become a writer since she just did not know how it was done.
It was in the mid-sixties that Helen Garner left Australia for the first time. When she got back, she penned several travel pieces and this was the first time she ever got paid. Afterward, she got a child and unfortunately, the marriage collapsed when the kid was just two years old and she was forced to go back to work.

She then used to work as a teacher and part-time in a newspaper as a journalist. It was a feminist political paper that was very popular in the early seventies where she worked for several years. Back then, she was getting about $60 a week and lived on that since she lived in a shared household.

Once she realized that she could write things that people liked to read, Helen Garner began thinking of becoming a journalist. But then she got very sick with hepatitis and lost her job by the time she got well.

With no means to support herself, she was about to get a taxi license when she was informed that there were benefits by the Labor government to support mothers. She applied for the benefits and survived on that for five years, which provided her with a lot of time to read.
It was in 1977 that she published her debut novel “Monkey Grip,” which she wrote for about a year in 1975. It did not take much time to write since it was inspired by personal experience. It is for this reason that the work has some diary-like feel.

Once she was done writing the manuscript, one of her published friends recommended “McPhee Gribble,” and a year later, she got her first published work into the world.

Helen Garner’s novel “Everywhere I Look” is a captivating collection of diary entries and personal essays. In 33 short pieces, she covers all manner of topics including Russell Crowe films, the weariness of moving houses, other Australian writers, the wisdom of dogs, and the suburbs.

It is a deeply personal work in which she particularly focuses on family. She pens an emotional tribute to her mother who is a very complicated woman in addition to sweet descriptions of Ted her cowboy-obsessed grandson. Garner also recounts a moving story and her friendship with Jacob Rosenberg the Holocaust survivor and writer.

“The Insults of Age” is probably one of the best essays in the work, as it showcases how aging turns a woman invisible. She also writes about her previous works and explains how she became interested in writing about Robert Farquharson, the man who was found guilty of killing his three kids.

She asserts that the case needed something more complex than simply looking away and calling him evil. Regardless of the topic, Garner is a courageous and charming author with a distinctive voice that exemplifies what can be achieved with personal writing.

“This House of Grief” by Helen Garner is a dramatic and emotionally overwrought account. In this outing, Garner tells of her time following the trial of the single father Robert Farquharson, who was convicted of killing his three children on “Father’s Day” in 2005.
Standing by his innocence, Furquhason asserts that he had a blackout and this was what caused him to drive off the bridge and into a dam. While he had been initially convicted, he fights and gets a retrial in which Garner is there every step of the way, as she colors the proceedings with her own experiences and opinions.

Still, it is never too clear why she had an obsession with the case and why she felt that she had to filter the information through her perspective. She has reported that people always looked at her weirdly when she said she needed to write about the trial.
Nonetheless, Helen offers a strong picture of the murder case and the trial, even if she lessens the impact by her internal musings.

“The Spare Room” is a work in which Helen Garner makes use of her signature realism, as she provides an eye-opening and infuriating experience of caring for a terminally ill friend.

Helen is taking care of an old friend named Nicola who lives in her Melbourne home as he begins a course of treatment for bowel cancer. The central aspect of the story is about the treatments that Helen believes are causing more harm than good.

On the other hand, Nicola wholly believes in the Theodore Institute and their unorthodox practices that are for the most part about vitamin C injections. Given her undying faith, Helen starts questioning her ability to take care of a person who could not be any deeper in denial.
She paints her friend’s optimism with a heavy hand, even as her symptoms worsen and Helen begins to bicker about the treatments and often becomes tiresome and grating.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Helen Garner

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