NonfictioNow Melbourne 2012: An Evening with Helen Garner
Helen Garner’s narrative non-fiction is practically its own genre, attracting international acclaim. Her landmark The First Stone, a controversial bestseller, broke new ground for Australian non-fiction – and Joe Cinque’s Consolation was similarly successful.
She blends journalism, reportage, memoir and cultural analysis – all filtered through the distinctive authorial voice that has long made her fiction so compelling. She uses the novelist’s tools of stark characterisation, evocative language and a magpie’s eye for telling dialogue.
Helen talks about her long career as a border-dweller, moving between fiction and non-fiction, using the best aspects of both. Read our detailed report from Helen’s address here.
Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong, and was educated there and at Melbourne University. Her first novel, Monkey Grip, won the 1978 National Book Council Award, and was adapted for film in 1981. Since then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism including The First Stone, Joe Cinque’s Consolation and The Spare Room which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages.