Australian Authors

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Garner, Helen (1942-)

Helen Garner is one of Australia's most successful authors.

She was born in Geelong in 1942 and worked initially as a high school teacher until the release of her first novel Monkey Grip, which was published in 1977. Monkey Grip was released as a feature film in 1982. Not afraid of the "hard subjects" she has gone onto be, at times, one of our most controversial authors and journalists. She has published novels, non-fiction books, screenplays and has worked as a freelance reviewer and feature writer.

Library Resources
Web Resources

Library Resources

On the shelves

Non Fiction



Short stories

The following short story collections each contain a short story by Helen Garner.




Book Review

  • The House of Grief

Web Resources

Reviews for Everywhere I Look

Reviews for This House of Grief: the story of a murder Trial

  • This House of Grief: criminal justice viewed from the coal face by Christopher Kremmer. 'Garner’s closely observed, vividly impressionistic portrait of a court case reminded me of Plato’s dictum that “Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens”. In other words, a legal system that relies on people to function will always be prone to human failings.' The Conversation, 21st August, 2014.
  • Review by Catherine Mah from The Guardian's Culture BlogThis House of Grief starts almost like a modern fairytale: a hard-working Aussie bloke and his young family building their dream house in a Victorian country town. But the happily-ever-after is shattered not one paragraph in when the wife asks her husband to leave. Ten months later, the ex-husband drives his children into a dam on Father’s Day, drowning them in his old Commodore while he himself escapes. A seven-year ordeal of investigation, trial and the pursuit of justice follows, teasing out whether what happened that night was a tragic accident or deliberate, vengeful murder.The Guardian, 20 August 2014.

Reviews for Joe Cinque's Consolation

  • The Age - "She admits to wanting to gaze at women accused of murder. Did anything make them different from her? "Humiliated and angry" after the break-up of her third marriage, Garner asks whether she can trust herself "to keep a lid on the vengeful, punitive force that was in me, as it is in everyone . . . the wildness that one keeps in its cage, releasing it only in dreams and fantasy". Morag Fraser, The Age, August 14th 2004.

Review for The Spare Room



Interviews with Anu Singh

  • Death and Madness. An interview with Anu Singh by Susan Wyndham - On August 16th 2004 Anu Singh spoke about the death of Joe Cinque, "I still grapple with the whys," she says of Cinque's death. "It's really difficult seven years down the track, not being mentally ill, to go back to that state of mind and grapple with what I was going through."

An interview with Joe Cinque's mother, Maria Cinque

Literary Awards

Movie Adaptations

Monkey Grip


The Wheeler Centre