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Everywhere I Look by [Garner, Helen]
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Everywhere I Look Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Helen Garner is one of Australia’s greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

Everywhere I Look includes Garner’s famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life.

Helen Garner is an award-winning author of novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature. Her novel The Spare Room, published in 2008, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages.

‘Garner is a charming and courageous writer whose distinctive voice exemplifies the range of what is pos­sible in personal writing.’ Publishers Weekly

‘There’s not a word wasted or out of place. Garner observes, intuits, shares and cares about the lives she writes about like no-one else. Readers will laugh, cry, squirm and gasp and wonder. It’s Garner’s unique gift as a writer, and it’s beautifully realised in Everywhere I Look.’ Books&Publishing

‘[Garner] has a way of describing the world with such wisdom and candour and, sometimes, delight, that it takes one’s breath away…at least, it does mine. Her observations about life are refreshing in their honesty…This is a fine collection that offers many delights to the reader.’ Readings

‘Similar to a hike, the book is best enjoyed without straining to finish it. It’s full of moments to pause and reflect. More importantly, it stirs up that addictive, expansive feeling only the best books can achieve: that you have reached the final page changed, perhaps even a better and more thoughtful person from having travelled alongside Garner’s observations for a time.’ Daily Review

‘Garner’s prose is so very pleasant to read—dry, relaxed sentences that calmly reach out towards loveliness…[Her] willingness to look at and truly see the failures of human behaviour, in herself no less than in others, that lends her work its power.’ Guardian

‘It is a rich, beautiful book by a poet of the everyday, a sheer master of prose. Give it to your grandmother, give it to your tweeting girlfriend. Give it to any man or woman who understands the magic of language. It will hurl them into great gulfs of pleasure, of turmoil and understanding and joy.’ Australian

‘Garner’s style celebrates and enacts containment and minimalism…Its tenderness and brutality cultivate fruitful and interesting kitchen table conversations spanning the grace and indignity of being “all too human.”’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald

‘[Garner’s] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it…She has laid the groundwork for a generation of writers; she has repeatedly shown us the glory and the power of an English sentence.’ Monthly

‘Garner approaches core questions about leading a meaningful life, providing baby boomers in particular with examples of how to live thoughtfully and observantly.’ Library Journal 

 


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1261 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (29 March 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01B0SZACS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
‘Everywhere I Look’ is a collection of essays, diary entries and true stories written by Helen Garner. While thirty of the stories in the collection have previously been published (between 1994 and 2015), the other three pieces (‘Whisper and Hum’, ‘Before Whatever Else Happens’ and ‘Suburbia’) have not.

What an interesting and eclectic collection: the first essay is about one about wanting a ukulele, about learning to play it. But the ukulele is part of a wider story: the collapse of a marriage, learning about self. The second essay is about buying a table – ‘to be elegant in my solitude’. And the table is also part of a wider story, including appearances, expectation, and craftsmanship.

There are six parts to this collection. While I enjoyed the entire collection, I particularly enjoyed two parts. Part Two: ‘Notes from a brief friendship’, with its essays ‘Dear Mrs Dunkley’ (about a teacher of Helen’s in 1952), ‘Eight Views of Tim Winton’ (about her friendship with Tim Winton) and ‘From Frogmore, Victoria’ (about Raimond Gaita, and his memoir ‘Romulus, My Father’ and the movie). Part Four: ‘On Darkness’ with its essay about Rosie Batty (‘The Singular Rosie’). ‘Punishing Karen’, about a teenager who killed her newborn baby is unsettling, as is ‘The Man in the Dock’ where a young woman (‘this brave, foolish, big-bosomed girl in her white blouse and chipped nail polish…’) stands in support of a violent young man.

The essays also include one on ageing ‘The Insults of Age’, one about Russell Crowe (‘Hit Me’), others about life with grandchildren close by.
There’s something wonderful about Helen Garner’s writing. Her observations are keen, her words always well-chosen, her meaning clear, if not always comfortable. Events pass into history, but good writing is timeless. These pieces are worth reading, or re-reading.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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This book was marvellous. Beautifully written. The author's observes and comments on everyday events with truth and ihumour and not always with kindness. I purchased this book for my kindle but want to go back to certain passages again so will purchase a hard copy. My favourite story is "Insults of Age" priceless, especially the drinks waiter who blithely asks the author and her friend" and how was your shopping" the subsequent putting down of this young man is very fine indeed.
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I'm not sure why it is but I'm drawn to Helen Garner's stories with a passion. I can devour them in one sitting and feel sorry when I'm done. Her stories are interesting and moving in their observations of humanity.
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Having only read her non fiction work previously, this is a wonderful collection of short stories and observations.
I particularly liked her perspective on playing the ukelele and her motivations for taking on the subjects in her non fiction crime investigation work.
Highly recommended.
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Always find her writing engaging and challenging and this piece provides greater insights into her as she ages. Bit too much of her cutely clever grandchildren for my liking.
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Helen is one of Australias treasures. I read all her books again and again this is no exeption. I don't have the skills to express why or how I know I just love her writing.
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Helen shares her views and emotins in her pared back style. We feel her warmth her anger and her helplessness as we travel with her prose across the issues facing Australia
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By A Customer on 8 May 2016
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Helen Garner at her best. Each little piece moved in me something quite extraordinary. Highly recommended reading that you want to savour.
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