Helen Garner was born in Geelong, Australia, in 1942. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne, after which she became a high school teacher.
After leaving teaching in 1972, she turned to writing. Her award-winning books include novels, stories, screenplays, and works of nonfiction, including Monkey Grip, The First Stone, and Joe Cinques Consolation, and in 2008 The Spare Room - her first work of fiction in fifteen years. Her fiction has won numerous awards. She is also one of Australia's most respected non-fiction writers, and received a Walkley Award for journalism in 1993.
Helen has been married three times, and has a child from her first marriage. She currently lives in Australia.
This biography was last updated on 08/14/2013.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
The Spare Room is your first novel for 15 years. Why did you decide to write it now and why this subject?
I had been publishing fiction, and making a living between books by writing feature journalism, since 1977, and thought of myself as both a novelist and a journalist. In the early 1990s I published a book called The First Stone, about a Melbourne University sexual harassment case; it took issue with a certain kind of victim feminism of the time, and to my great surprise (and a lot of peoples severe annoyance) it stayed on the best-seller list for months. Then I published Joe Cinques Consolation, an account of two Canberra murder trials, which was also well received. By then I thought Id found my metier, and wondered if I would ever get back across the border into fiction. But then a friend I loved died of cancer. I needed to write about it. I didnt want to write memoir or non-fiction: I wanted to go back to the freedom of fiction, where you can claim ownership of the material, and handle it in any way that enables you to create a larger, deeper truth.
The narrator, like you, is named Helen. Why did you call her that?
I called her Helen because, although the book is a novel (see above), I didn...
Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions
Win 5 books, each week in July!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.