Australian Literary Legend Helen Garner Discusses her Life & Work in Conversation with Publishing Giant Lisa Lucas
Sunday, October 15 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm$10.00
Presented in partnership with East City Bookshop
Considered a literary institution in Australia, Helen Garner’s incisive writing evokes the keen eye of the New Journalists. 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 Literature Prize for Non-fiction. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The Children’s Bach, Cosmo Cosmolino, The Spare Room, The First Stone, This House of Grief, Everywhere I Look, and her diaries Yellow Notebook, One Day I’ll Remember This, and How to End a Story. Garner’s works will be published in the US for the first time this fall. Garner is lauded as one of the finest prose stylists in the
history of Australian literature.
First to be published in the US are The Children’s Bach: A Novel and This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder. Often described as Garner’s masterpiece, The Children’s Bach is set in suburban Melbourne in the early 1980s. It is a chronicling of the steady unraveling of a content but cloistered suburban family, seduced by the counterculture of the 1980s. Drawn on a small canvas and with a subtle musical backdrop, The Children’s Bach is a beloved work that solidified Garner’s place among the masters of modern letters, a finely etched masterpiece that weighs the burdens of commitment against the costs of liberation.
Garner’s engrossing true-crime classic This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder has been compared to In Cold Blood. A true-crime saga about a separated father who was charged with a triple murder in 2005 when he plunged his car into a dam while driving his three sons to visit their mother. Garner tells the definitive and deeply absorbing story through a panoply of perspectives, including her own as a member of the public, Garner captures the exacting procedure and brutal spectacle of Australia’s criminal justice system. The result is a richly textured portrait—of a man and his broken life, of a community wracked by tragedy, and of the long and torturous road to closure.
Moderator, Lisa Lucas is the Senior Vice President & Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. Previously, Lucas was the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation for five years. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Publisher of Guernica, a non-profit online magazine focusing on writing that explores the intersection of art and politics with an international and diverse focus. Prior to that, she served as Director of Education at the Tribeca Film Institute, on the development team at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a consultant for the Sundance Institute, San Francisco Film Society, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and ReelWorks Teen Filmmaking. Lucas also serves on the literary council of the Brooklyn Book Festival.