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Helen Garner has kept a diary for almost all her life. But until now, those exercise books filled with her thoughts, observations, frustrations and joys have been locked away, out of bounds, in a laundry cupboard.
Finally, Garner has opened her diaries and invited readers into the world behind her novels and works of non-fiction. Recorded with frankness, humour and steel-sharp wit, these accounts of her everyday life provide an intimate insight into the work of one of Australia’s greatest living writers.
Yellow Notebook, Diaries Volume One, in this elegant hardback edition, spans about a decade beginning in the late 1970s just after the publication of her first novel, Monkey Grip. It will delight Garner fans and those new to her work alike.
‘[Garner’s] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it.’
‘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.’
‘Garner, in everything she writes, is an indelible stylist, a shaper of events, a distiller of meaning…Time and again—and this will happen over and over—I went back to True Stories as I do to the inimitable and abrasive Pablo Cassals performance of Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites, for pitch-perfect tone, and for Garner’s uncanny, wild and benevolent ear for the precise modulations of human experience.’
‘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.’