The Longform Society

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at The Wheeler Centre

Meeting #4: Helen Garner Edition

Helen Garner's name is synonymous with excellence and rigour in narrative non-fiction today. She's famous for spare yet stirring prose, dark subject matter and brutal introspection (the New Yorker’s James Wood called her a 'savage self-scrutineer').

In our final Longform Society meeting for 2017 – and as her collections, Stories and True Stories, are republished – we’ll explore some seminal essays from this peerless figure in Australian writing.

Chime in with your own perspectives – in the room, or online (the event will be live streamed) – as our panel consider Garner’s craft, her impact and the essays that have stayed with them. Our texts include examples of her early work, and her most influential stories.

The texts:

  • 'Killing Daniel' (1993)
  • 'The Art of the Dumb Question' (1996)
  • 'Sighs Too Deep for Words' (2001)

(PDFs are no longer available for download.)

For regular links to the reading list, and live stream reminders, subscribe to the Longform Society's emails below. (If you want to come along, you'll also need to book a ticket.)

The Longform Society: Meeting #4: Helen Garner Edition


Portrait of Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, the most recent of which is City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death & the Need for a Forest. She is a former publisher, former editor of Meanjin, former Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and was a co-founder of The Stella Prize. She is an Adjunct Professor with RMIT's Non/fiction lab.

Portrait of Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan is an academic and researcher in contemporary Australian writing, literature and ethics. She is the author of a number of publications, including a monograph on Brian Castro and two edited collections: Just Words?: Australian Authors Writing for Justice (UQP 2008), and Ethical Investigations: Essays on Australian Literature and Poetics (Vagabond 2008). She lives in Sydney.

Portrait of Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. Her latest book is The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire (2018). She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement.

The Longform Society

Love longform? Join the club.

The Longform Society is a reading club for lovers of the essay form. It's new, it's nerdy, it's nourishment for your brain.

Before each meeting of the society, we’ll email members a collection of outstanding essays grouped around a thought-provoking issue. Our host, Sophie Cunningham, and a panel of three writers will rigorously examine the arguments put forward by each pieceand the philosophical, social, economic or political implications.

We’ll be live-streaming all meetings of Longform Society on this page – so you can indulge in longform, long distance. Are you in for the long haul?

Sign up for the Longform Society here. #longformsociety

To receive links to the reading list, and live stream reminders, subscribe to the Longform Society's emails below. (If you want to come along, you'll also need to book a ticket.)


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