‘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.’ James Wood, New Yorker
Helen Garner visits the morgue, and goes cruising on a Russian ship. She sees women giving birth, and gets the sack for teaching her students about sex. She attends a school dance and a gun show. She writes about dreaming, about turning fifty, and the storm caused by The First Stone. Her story on the murder of the two-year-old Daniel Valerio wins her a Walkley Award.
Garner looks at the world with a shrewd and sympathetic eye. Her non-fiction is always passionate and compelling. True Stories is an extraordinary book, spanning fifty years of work, by one of Australia’s great writers.
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. Her most recent book, Everywhere I Look won the 2017 Indie Book Award for Non-Fiction.
‘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] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it.’ Monthly
‘Helen Garner is one of Australia’s greatest living writers and her collection of essays, diary entries and stories written over almost 50 years is just the thing for the lover of fine writing. A compilation of three non-fiction collections, True Stories: The Collected Short Non-Fiction covers everything from family, love and marriage, sex and motherhood to travel, writing and criminal trials. Her piercing intellect, fearlessness and compassion shine through in every word.’ Sydney Morning Herald, Can’t-Put-Down Titles for Summer
‘True Stories by Helen Garner—I mean, really. Helen. Helen Garner. Do you hear that sound? It is the sound of glitter cannons exploding in my heart.’ Marieke Hardy, Melbourne Writers Festival Staff Summer Reading List
‘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
‘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
‘This collection of columns, essays and feature writing from the early 1970s to the present is a real treat, offering immersive journalism, humour, whimsy and analysis.’ Overland
‘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