Why should it be any different from any other love affair? Why shouldn't it run through its phases, wither, and die? I'd better work if I want to survive this, and if I want to play my full and proper part in it. Who wants a lovesick, lazy drip, obsessed with her own emotions and full of resentment against fate?
I can only live the thing to its fullest extent. This is what life is. It's not for saying no.
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 bombshell that followed it, Garner reveals the inner life of a woman in love and a great writer at work.
With devastating honesty, 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 thrilling and uncompromising. And through it all we see the elevating, and grounding, power of work.