Helen Garner is one of Australia’s most admired and influential writers. Her acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction have dominated the shelves of writers and literature lovers for more than 40 years, and include the titles Monkey GripThe Spare RoomThe Children’s BachThis House of Grief and Everywhere I Look. 

Revered for her mastery of acute observation, The New Yorker famously said she is ‘everywhere at once, watching and listening, a recording angel at life’s secular apocalypses...” 

It is not surprising that Helen has kept a diary for almost all of her life – chronicling her thoughts, observations, frustrations and joys. For decades, these candid works of introspection have been locked away.

Now, finally, Helen is opening her diaries. Beginning in the late 1970s, Following the publication of Monkey Grip, these accounts of her everyday life invite us into the world behind her celebrated work. Through these pages – written with her quintessential frankness, humour and steel-sharp wit – she shares her life. 

Join Helen in conversation with Michael Williams for an unmissable, intimate insight into the mind of one of our greatest writers.

This event is supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Helen Garner (Australian)

Helen Garner

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 GripThe Spare RoomThis House of Grief and Everywhere I Look.

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. A sometime Radio National presenter, he remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked in publishing and as a presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR (on Breakfasters), as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and elsewhere.