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.
‘It is astonishing how much shit a woman will cop in the interests of civic and domestic order.’
Helen Garner is a legend. Our poet-laureate of the acute observation, the award-winning novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist has made a peerless contribution to Australian letters, Australian culture and our sense of ourselves. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 Garner was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The First Stone, This House of Grief and Everywhere I Look.