'Although I have been married three times, I have never been a "bride". What - me, in a big white dress? In a veil? The closest I ever got to the fantasy was back in the eighties, when I used to admire the white gypsophyla gowns that Susan Renouf wore to parties: I drew a curious satisfaction from their ethereal, circular, brow-pressing beauty. Twenty years later all that's left is the frisson I get from the coronet shape that salad leaves briefly take when I tip them out of the
whizzer on to a tea towel.'
Cities, friends, lost-loves, Antarctica, the joy of being a grandmother, weddings, fencing - such is the array of subjects in Helen Garner's second non-fiction collection. Some pieces were published in the Age, some are previously unpublished, but woven together they present as memoir, and offer a wonderfully personal portrait of an always unconventional talent.
In word-perfect and often blindingly funny prose, Helen Garner reminds us of the human condition, in all its various guises.
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Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong, Victoria, and was educated there and at Melbourne University. She has worked as a high school teacher and extensively as a free-lance journalist, reviewer and scriptwriter. Her first novel, 'Monkey Grip', appeared in 1977 and won the National Book Council Award in 1978. Since then she has won numerous prestigious Australian literary awards, and a Walkley Award for journalism in 1993. A feature film based on 'Monkey Grip, starring Noni Hazelhurst, was released in 1982 and Garner wrote the script for the Australian feature 'The Last Days Of Chez Nous'. Her first work of non-fiction, the controversial 'The First Stone', appeared in 1995 and became an instant bestseller. After living for most of her life in Melbourne, Garner relocated to Sydney a few years ago. She continues to make a living from various kinds of writing, including film scripts.
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