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Yellow Notebook

Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978–1987

Helen Garner

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.


ABC Radio Melbourne: Evenings 
ABC Radio National: The Book Show 
Age: Spectrum 
Booktopia blog 
Booktopia podcast 
Guardian (opinion piece)
Saturday Paper 
Weekend Australian ($) 

Helen Garner
About the Author

Helen Garner writes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime...

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5 November 2019
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Praise for Helen Garner
andYellow Notebook

‘[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.’

’It’s a special privilege to be let in on what was going on in her mind, her life.’

Yellow Notebook is as replete as it is spare. It is brimful of a life that needs to be taken a sip at a time to enjoy all its flavours…There is so much wisdom in this book that we can be grateful that Garner has decided to share it around.’

Yellow Notebook reveals the bewildered quest, the stubborn orneriness and vanity of a soul forever journeying it knows not where. It has the power of great fiction that the finest poetry has.’

‘The sensory nature of her observations are glorious.’

‘We are once again able to witness one of Australia’s greatest writers at her most raw, unedited, and brilliant…Yellow Notebook is both entirely ordinary, and completely transfixing.’

‘Garner is unparalleled in her honesty and perceptiveness…Experience the things she read, the things she did, they ways she felt, and so much more in this immersive thoughtscape. A delight.’

‘[Garner] experiences the consequences of her writing so acutely, and that is what makes her so extraordinary—you can read the suffering in every word’

Other editions ofYellow Notebook
  • Yellow Notebook
    ISBN: 9781925774917
    5 November 2019
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