cover image Everywhere I Look

Everywhere I Look

Helen Garner. Text, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-925355-36-9

Garner, one of Australia’s most acclaimed writers (This House of Grief), gives her fans a captivating collection of personal essays and diary entries. In 33 short pieces, she covers a wide variety of topics, including the weariness of moving houses, the wisdom of dogs, the suburbs (she defends them), other Australian writers, and Russell Crowe films. Garner’s is a deeply personal book, in which the subject that interests her most is her own family. She writes a touching tribute to her complicated mother and a series of sweet descriptions of her grandson, Ted, who is obsessed with cowboys. She also recounts a moving story about her friendship with the writer and Holocaust survivor Jacob Rosenberg. Perhaps the best essay in the book is “The Insults of Age,” Garner’s catalogue of the ways aging makes a woman invisible—or even downright despised—in modern society. She discusses her previous books and explains why she was drawn to write about the case of Robert Farquharson, a father convicted of killing his three children, arguing that the case demands a more complex response than simply calling a man “evil” and looking away. No matter the topic, Garner is a charming and courageous writer whose distinctive voice exemplifies the range of what is possible in personal writing. (Sept.)