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. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The Spare Room, This House of Grief and Everywhere I Look.
'Don't mistake Helen Garner's Yellow Notebook for 'something sensational to read in the train', as an Oscar Wilde heroine characterised her own diaries. Garner's are spare, quiet, reflective: a portrait of the artist and her world, observed with scrupulous honesty.' * Brenda Niall, ABR * 'Helen Garner's Yellow Notebook proves she can't write a bad sentence, even in private.' * Susan Wyndham, ABR * 'Starched or not - severe, unbending, falling about at the absurdity of the world - Helen Garner emerges as a moralist rippling with intent and mirth. The diary, clearly, is her true metier. And now we have successive volumes to anticipate. The titular promise and confidence are typical of this brilliant, defiant book.' * ABR * 'The pleasure of the book is Garner's eye - the momentary event, the instant's feel, the texture of time. This is not to say that there is no story - far from it. Yellow Notebook is often rich in anecdotes. It is a book of heart-wrenching break-ups, growing friendships, tears, and celebrations. Garner's relationship with her daughter becomes a pleasure to share...It is an exemplary book.' * Stuff.co.nz * 'A crafted work of autobiographical glimpses, acute observations and insights into the writer's psyche...her diaries are the rehearsal space of a great author and even in private her sentences sing with a strong, clear voice.' * Australian * '[Garner] experiences the consequences of her writing so acutely, and that is what makes her so extraordinary-you can read the suffering in every word' * Annabel Crabb * 'Garner is unparalleled in her honesty and perceptiveness...Experience the things she read, the things she did, they ways she felt, and so much more in this immersive thoughtscape. A delight.' * Booktopia * 'We are once again able to witness one of Australia's greatest writers at her most raw, unedited, and brilliant...Yellow Notebook is both entirely ordinary, and completely transfixing.' * Good Reading * 'The sensory nature of her observations are glorious.' * Guardian * 'Yellow Notebook reveals the bewildered quest, the stubborn orneriness and vanity of a soul forever journeying it knows not where. It has the power of great fiction that the finest poetry has.' * Saturday Paper * 'Yellow Notebook is as replete as it is spare. It is brimful of a life that needs to be taken a sip at a time to enjoy all its flavours...There is so much wisdom in this book that we can be grateful that Garner has decided to share it around.' * Michael McGirr, Age * 'It's a special privilege to be let in on what was going on in her mind, her life.' * Mark Rubbo, Readings * 'On the page, Garner is uncommonly fierce, though this usually has the effect on me of making her seem all the more likable. I relish her fractious, contrarian streak - she wears it as a chef would a bloody apron - even as I worry about what it would be like to have to face it down.' * Guardian * 'Garner, in everything she writes, is an indelible stylist, a shaper of events, a distiller of meaning...Time and again-and this will happen over and over-I went back to True Stories as I do to the inimitable and abrasive Pablo Cassals performance of Bach's unaccompanied cello suites, for pitch-perfect tone, and for Garner's uncanny, wild and benevolent ear for the precise modulations of human experience.' * Morag Fraser, Australian Book Review * '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 * '[Garner's] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it.' * Monthly *