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Helen Garner: How to End a Story

‘But, you know, the thing about putting together a diary is, that when you read through the old books, you can see these points where you’re about to walk off a cliff. And you see yourself walk off a cliff like one hundred times and you think, wake up, but it’s too late because you’re already off the cliff.’

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Helen Garner is one of Australia’s most respected writers. Her novels, short stories, essays, journalism, and more recently her diaries – including her latest instalment, How to End a Story: Diaries: 1995–1998 – have influenced generations of Australian writers and are a fixture of Melbourne’s collective consciousness.

Over a long lunch at Montalto, she joined Sean O’Beirne, author of the recent monograph On Helen Garner, to discuss her immense contribution to Australian literature, and the unmistakable currents of candour and independence that have run through her writing life.

This event was recorded on Friday 20 May 2022.

Presented in partnership with Montalto.

The bookseller for this event was Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery.

Featured music is Traveling Again by Sarah, the Illstrumentalist.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.