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The Spare Room - Helen Garner

Paperback

Published: 28th September 2009
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Booktopia Comments

Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction
Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction
Barbara Jefferis Award
Shortlisted, WA Premier’s Awards, 2008
Shortlisted, NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction
Shortlisted, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
Shortlisted, Australian Literary Society Gold Medal
Shortlisted, Colin Roderick Award

Product Description

Helen lovingly prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola. She is coming to visit for three weeks, to receive treatment she believes will cure her cancer.

From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel and her stony judge.

The Spare Room tells a story of compassion, humour and rage. The two women—one sceptical, one stubbornly serene—negotiate an unmapped path through Nicola’s bizarre therapy, stumbling towards the novel’s terrible and transcendent finale.

Praise for The Spare Room:

‘It’s a book which asks unavoidable and painful questions, not least about the nature of friendship, with a clarity that offers no room for evasion. It refuses to offer easy answers or false comfort. A book for grown-up people, in other words. And the Lord knows, there are a lot of the other sort about.' — Hilary Mantel

‘A perfect novel, imbued with all Garner’s usual clear-eyed grace but with some other magnificent dimension that hides between the lines of her simple conversational voice. How is it that she can enter this heart-breaking territory—the dying friend who comes to stay—and make it not only bearable, but glorious, and funny? There is no answer except: Helen Garner is a great writer; The Spare Room is a great book.’ — Peter Carey

‘The Spare Room : Garner’s first novel in fifteen years, a lean claustrophobic drama about a cancer sufferer and the friend she calls on for help, illuminates the big questions of what it means to be human, and makes me glad I am a reader.’ — Australian Literary Review

‘Masterful.’ — Vogue

About the Author

Helen Garner was born in Geelong in 1942. She has worked extensively as a journalist, reviewer and scriptwriter. She has published numerous works of fiction, non-fiction and short-stories. The Spare Room is her first work of fiction in fifteen years.

Helen Garner

Helen Garner’s first novel, Monkey Grip, was published in 1977, and immediately established her as an original voice on the Australian literary scene. She is known for incorporating and adapting her personal experiences in her fiction, something that has brought her both praise and criticism, particularly with her novels, Monkey Grip and The Spare Room.

Throughout her career, Garner has written both fiction and non-fiction. She attracted controversy with her book The First Stone about a sexual harassment scandal in a university college. She has also written for film and theatre, and has consistently won awards for her work.

In subsequent books, she has continued to adapt her personal experiences. Her later novels include The Children’s Bach and Cosmo Cosmolino. In 2008 she returned to fiction writing with the publication of The Spare Room, a fictional treatment of caring for a dying cancer patient, based on the illness and death of Garner’s friend Jenya Osborne. She has also published several short story collections: Honour & Other People’s Children: two stories, Postcards from Surfers and My Hard Heart: Selected Fictions.

Her most recent book is This House of Grief.

Visit Helen Garner's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9781921520280
ISBN-10: 1921520280
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 28th September 2009
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.1  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 20.0
Edition Number: 1