This new edition of Helen Garner’s collected short fiction celebrates the seventy-fifth birthday of one of Australia’s most loved authors.
These stories - that delve into the complexities of love and longing, of the pain, darkness and joy of life - are all told with her characteristic sharpness of observation, honesty and humour. Each one a perfect piece, together they showcase Garner’s mastery of the form.
`Garner is a natural storyteller.' * James Wood, New Yorker *
`Garner's stories share characteristics of the postcard: they flash before us carefully recorded images that remind us of harsher realities not pictured. And like postcards they are economically written, a bit of conversation is transcribed, a memory recalled, an event noted, scenes pass as if viewed from a train-momentarily, distinct and tantalising in their beauty.' * New York Times *
`A perfect introduction for first-timers who have not yet experienced the pleasures of Garner's writing.' * Sydney Morning Herald *
`Memoirist, fiction writer, faction writer, journalist? Australian critics and booksellers have stopped trying to pigeonhole Melburnian writer Helen Garner and now just give her prizes...These stories and essays are the work of a natural storyteller, of an unsparing yet sympathetic eye...It's all wonderful stuff: unstinting honesty, clarity and charm. Dive in.' * North & South *
`This is the power of Garner's writing. She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life, once you read them they enter into you. Successive generations of writers have felt the keen influence of her work and for this reason Garner has become part of us all.' * Australian *
`Stories and True Stories are handsome companion volumes deservedly celebrating Helen Garner, our greatest contemporary practitioner of observation, self-interrogation and compassion. Everything she writes, in her candid, graceful prose, rings true, enlightens, stays.' * Joan London, Sydney Morning Herald's Year in Reading *
`Published in beautiful editions to celebrate life given shape in words.' * Drusilla Modjeska, Sydney Morning Herald's Year in Reading *
`Both of these books are concerned with moments of heartbreak and of hope, with loneliness and love, and with great cruelties, and the things that drive people to them. They are animated by a desire to understand what seems unfathomable, and to pay attention to the small pleasures of the everyday. Garner's precise descriptions, her interest in minute shifts of emotion, and the ways in which we reveal ourselves to others are always at work in these books, and make them a real joy to read.' * Age *
`Helen Garner's collections of fiction and nonfiction corroborate her reputation as a great stylist and a great witness.' -- Peter Craven * Books of the Year 2017 *
`Smoking dope and eating spaghetti, the abrupt ending of a happy marriage, the psychological effect of wearing stripes. Helen Garner takes slivers of daily life, sometimes the most mundane, and gently folds them into poetry on the page.' -- Australian Gourmet Traveller
`As I leaf through the volumes, having just re-read both of them, I am still brought up short by another revelatory insight of the everyday...I could go on and on, but I am out of words. Many happy returns Helen Garner!'
* Adelaide Advertiser *
`Her prose is wiry, stark, precise, but to find her equal for the tone of generous humanity one has to call up writers like Isaac Babel and Anton Chekhov.' * Wall Street Journal *
`Garner's non-fiction is often driven by the question why. Ruthless and full-blooded, her journalism nevertheless displays the greatest nimbleness in its accommodation of ambivalence and uncertainty. Her short stories, on the other hand, have a tendency to rise seamlessly towards epiphany.' * Times Literary Supplement *