Garner is a 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize recipient for her non-fiction writings. The judges praised Garner's work as ‘intelligent, lucid and often disturbing.’
PRAISE FOR EVERYWHERE I LOOK
‘A captivating collection…No matter the topic, Garner is a charming and courageous writer whose distinctive voice exemplifies the range of what is possible in personal writing.’Publishers Weekly
‘Garner brings to the collection not only her tremendous powers of observation but a continued employment of those skills to force readers to confront unpleasant truths. The graceful prose with which she delivers her insights will challenge readers to look at what is happening around them.’Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
‘Like strolling around in an idiosyncratic, surprising, and informative museum.’Kirkus
'Garner is a natural storyteller: her unillusioned eye makes her clarity compulsive.’New Yorker
‘Compulsively readable essays.’Observer
‘Writes with the humor and precision of Joy Williams, the warmth and ferocity of Elena Ferrante, and the investigative rigor of Janet Malcolm.'John Freeman, LitHub
‘A thoughtful dissection of the emotional anatomy of the everyday’.Financial Times [UK]
‘This is Garner in expansive mood writing gracefully about everything from her family to ballet to the dawn service.’The Spectator
‘Garner is a wonderful appreciator: she invites us into the work under review by leading us along the path of discovery she has followed.’Open Letters Monthly
‘Garner’s prose is so very pleasant to read – dry, relaxed sentences that calmly reach out towards loveliness…[Her] willingness to look at and truly see the failures of human behavior, in herself no less than in others, that lends her work its power.’Guardian
‘A rich, beautiful book by a poet of the everyday, a sheer master of prose.’Australian
‘A book with a big scope, both in terms of the subjects covered and of the stylistic approaches used to discuss thema great reminder of the range of the essay as form.'Signature
‘There’s not a word wasted or out of place. Garner observes, intuits, shares and cares about the lives she writes about like no-one else. Readers will laugh, cry, squirm and gasp and wonder. It’s Garner’s unique gift as a writer, and it’s beautifully realized in Everywhere I Look.’Books + Publishing
Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of intuition, insight and humor. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice.
It includes Garner's famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries.
Helen Garner is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Spare Room was published to critical acclaim in 2010. Her work of true crime This House of Grief received international praise.
PRAISE FOR This House of Grief
‘[Garner] doesn't merely listen. She watches, imagines, second-guesses, empathizes, agonizes. Her voiceintimate yet sharp, wry yet urgentinspires trust.'Atlantic
‘She writes with a profound understanding of human vulnerability, and of the subtle workings of love, memory and remorse.’Economist
‘Helen Garner is an invaluable guide into harrowing territory and offers powerful and unforgettable insights.'Kate Atkinson
THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF won the Honorable Mention in the INDIEFAB 2015 Book of the Year Awards, True Crime category
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About the Author
Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong, and was educated there and at Melbourne University. She taught in Victorian secondary schools until 1972, when, having been dismissed for answering her students’ questions about sex, she began start writing journalism for a living.
Her first novel, Monkey Grip, came out in 1977, 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. Her screenplay The Last Days of Chez Nous was filmed in 1990.
Garner has won many prizes, among them a Walkley Award for her 1993 article about the murder of two-year-old Daniel Valerio. In 1995 she published The First Stone, a controversial account of a Melbourne University sexual harassment case. Joe Cinque’s Consolation, published in 2004, was a non-fiction study of two murder trials in Canberra.
In 2006 Helen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature. Her novel, The Spare Room, published in 2008, 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.
Her latest book, This House of Grief, was named Best True Crime book in the 2015 Ned Kelly Awards, and is a 2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab finalist.
In 2016 Helen Garner was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for Non-Fiction.
Helen Garner lives in Melbourne.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“Three scorchers in a row…The sky was clouding over and the air was irritable…Suddenly, above the asphalt of the big playground came a mighty rushing, counterclockwise, as if the air were being stirred by a spoon in a huge bowl…The temperature plummeted and a superb, refreshing cool exploded all around. Raindrops struck the asphalt, stopped then began in earnest” Everywhere I Look is the fifth non-fiction book by award-winning Australian author, Helen Garner. Gathered together in one volume are short stories, diary entries, movie reviews, essays and opinion pieces. Garner turns her prodigious literary talents to a diverse range of subjects: the ballet, ageing, youthful intoxication, playing the ukulele, moving house, suburbia, walking the dog, the local café, a baby doll, rereading Jane Austen and buying furniture. Her prose is often succinct and, occasionally, wonderfully evocative. “In a junk shop I found a shabby but surprisingly comfortable old sofa covered in gold brocade hat was bleached almost to silver. When it was delivered I saw only its dated gentility; but then I tossed an equally ancient pink silk cushion on to it, and the pink and the faded gold sang to each other in quiet, tired voices. I saw that, living alone, one must play out one’s domestic dramas through inanimate objects. Suddenly, this did not seem so terrible” She shares her opinion on some well- and lesser-known court cases, on beloved authors; on a certain male actor; on a favourite teacher; on her parents. The diary pieces contain excerpts from everyday life and some delightful utterances from grandchildren. While all but three of the stories have appeared previously in other publications (books, journals and magazines), this collection is an excellent taster of Garner’s work for readers unfamiliar with it. This is an entertaining, thought-provoking and interesting read.