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Introduction by Michael Sala
Two novellas about the deep connections we forge with the people we love, and the pain of breaking those connections.
In Honour, Kathleen and Frank are amicably separated, in contact through shared parenting of their young daughter, Flo. But when Frank finds a new partner and wants a divorce, Kathleen is hurt. And Flo can’t understand why they all can’t live together.
In Other People’s Children, Ruth and Scotty live in a big share house that’s breaking up. Scotty is trying to hold on, remembering the early days of telling life stories and laughter and singing—and when the kids were everyone’s kids. But now the bitterness has crept in and their friendship is broken. Ruth is ready to move on—and she’ll take her kids with her.
‘Garner is scrupulous, painstaking, and detailed, with sharp eyes and ears. She is everywhere at once, watching and listening, a recording angel at life’s secular apocalypses…her unillusioned eye makes her clarity compulsive.’
‘She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life, once you read them they enter into you. Successive generations of writers have felt the keen influence of her work and for this reason Garner has become part of us all.’
‘Helen Garner’s collections of fiction and non-fiction corroborate her reputation as a great stylist and a great witness.’