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Helen Garner’s second volume of diaries charts a tumultuous stage in her life. Beginning in 1987, as she embarks on an affair that she knows will be all-consuming, and ending in 1995 with the publication of The First Stone and the furore that followed it, Garner reveals the inner life of a woman in love and a great writer at work.
With devastating honesty and sparkling humour, she grapples with what it means for her sense of self to be so entwined with another—how to survive as an artist in a partnership that is both enthralling and uncompromising. And through it all we see the elevating, and grounding, power of work and the enduring value of friendship.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
ABC Radio National: The Book Show
Books Books Books podcast
Guardian: Is a woman my age allowed to be happy when the world is going to hell in a handbasket?
Guardian: Is there hope for women and men? (extract)
Guardian conversation via Apple podcasts
Melbourne Writers Festival blog
Sydney Morning Herald
‘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.’
‘On the page, Garner is uncommonly fierce, though this usually has the effect on me of making her seem all the more likable. I relish her fractious, contrarian streak – she wears it as a chef would a bloody apron – even as I worry about what it would be like to have to face it down.’
‘A rich insight into what it means to be an artist. Not just a writer but any kind of artist where the pull of the work surpasses everything else. Reading these snatches of life being lived is like being given a painting you love gleaming with the still-wet paint.’
‘Garner’s self-deprecating reflections are profound and funny. Her dispatches from daily life in the late 80s and early 90s…are relayed in her trademark matter-of-fact prose, always oriented towards truth and self-examination, no matter how painful…One Day I’ll Remember This is a revealing window into the mind of one of Australia’s greatest living writers.’
‘The spirituality of these diaries is worth a library of high-minded theology…Their acuity is ultimately healing. You will leave with the impression that you have not so much been looking at Garner’s life as at life itself.’
‘One Day I’ll Remember This will appeal not only to Garner fans but to anyone who wants a profound insight into the mind of a true artist.’
‘One Day I’ll Remember This is a delightful book, longing to be dipped in and out of, and, through it, the reader gets a picture of this remarkable woman.’
‘The ordinary in these diaries – the daily, the diurnal, the stumbled-upon, the breathing in and out – is turned into something else through the writer’s extraordinary craft.’
‘What a joy and a privilege it is to dive into the pages of Helen Garner’s second volume of diaries…If you have never read Garner, read them for the sheer beauty of the prose and clarity of her thinking. If, like me, you have devoured everything she has ever written, they will enhance your understanding of her work.’
‘Helen Garner is one of the lords of language in our midst and something more. She has a poet’s ear, a painter’s eye and she understands profoundly and without self-pity the mystery of the tears in things.’
‘Another 2020 reading highlight was Helen Garner’s One Day I’ll Remember This: Diaries 1987-1995 (Text). The book is typically Garneresque in its ability to cut straight through the bullshit, while also being poetic, gentle and life affirming. Garner continues to explore what it is to be human – in all its endless loss, beauty, connection and grit.’
‘With One Day I’ll Remember This: Diaries 1987-1995 (Text), Helen Garner proves once more why anything and everything she writes is a life lesson in courage, acuity and the eviscerating quest for self-knowledge. What unites these three books, apart from sublime writing, is the revelation of the lengths to which women must go to hide their lights – protect yet nourish their secret selves – and the cost of such radical concealment.’
‘I loved Helen Garner’s second volume of diaries, One Day I’ll Remember This. I would read Garner’s grocery lists; she’s one of my favourites. I must have underlined something on every page.’
‘This volume is proof that even [Garner’s] writing for the desk drawer is exquisite. Come for the scarifying honesty; stay for sentences that could have been turned on a lathe.’