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Introduction by Charlotte Wood
An elegant hardback edition of the novel that launched Helen Garner’s career.
Helen Garner’s gritty, lyrical first novel divided the critics on its publication in 1977. Today, Monkey Grip is regarded as a masterpiece—the novel that shines a light on a time and a place and a way of living never before presented in Australian literature: communal households, music, friendships, children, love, drugs, and sex.
When Nora falls in love with Javo, she is caught in the web of his addiction; and as he moves between loving her and leaving, between his need for her and promises broken, Nora’s life becomes an intense dance of loving and trying to let go.
BBC.com , ‘The 100 stories that shaped the world’, Jun 18
‘Garner is a natural storyteller.’
‘Her use of language is sublime.’
‘This is the power of Garner’s writing. 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.’
‘Its embattled characters are so real that by the last page you feel not just that you have read a magnificent novel but that you have experienced life itself.’