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