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Helen Garner

Forfatter af The Spare Room

32+ Værker 4,147 Medlemmer 190 Anmeldelser 17 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Helen Garner was born on November 7, 1942 in Geelong, Australia. She received a bachelor's degree with majors in English and French from the University of Melbourne. Throughout her career, she has written both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Monkey Grip, was published in 1977. Her vis mere non-fiction books include The First Stone, Joe Cinque's Consolation, The Feel of Steel, True Stories and Everywhere I Look. She has also written for film and theatre. She has won numerous awards for her work including Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction for The Spare Room, For the This House of Grief, she won the Melbourne Prize for Literature, the Barbara Jefferis Award, and the Ned Kelly Award in 2015, and in 2016, the WA Premier's Book Award for nonfiction. She was one of three winners of the 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction. Everywhere I Look won the 2017 Indie Book Award for Nonfiction. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Includes the name: Helen Garner

Image credit: Helen Garner at Adelaide Writer's Week By Michael Coghlan - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/16642539190/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62681310

Værker af Helen Garner

The Spare Room (2008) 1,015 eksemplarer, 96 anmeldelser
Monkey Grip (1977) 490 eksemplarer, 17 anmeldelser
Joe Cinque's Consolation (2005) 444 eksemplarer, 15 anmeldelser
This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial (2015) 325 eksemplarer, 20 anmeldelser
The First Stone: Some Questions About Sex and Power (1995) 325 eksemplarer, 4 anmeldelser
The Children's Bach (1984) 302 eksemplarer, 8 anmeldelser
Everywhere I Look (2016) 205 eksemplarer, 15 anmeldelser
Cosmo Cosmolino (1992) 177 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
Postcards from Surfers (1985) 153 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
True stories: Selected non-fiction (1996) 136 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
The Feel of Steel (2001) 88 eksemplarer
Honour & Other People's Children (1980) 86 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Stories: The Collected Short Fiction (2017) 68 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
My Hard Heart: Selected Fiction (1998) 53 eksemplarer

Associated Works

In Another Part of the Forest: An Anthology of Gay Short Fiction (1994) — Bidragyder — 179 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Lantana Lane (1959) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver132 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing: An Anthology (1993) — Bidragyder — 58 eksemplarer
The Virago Book of Wanderlust and Dreams (1998) — Bidragyder — 36 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (2011) — Bidragyder — 29 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Australian Literature: An Anthology of Writing from the Land Down Under (1993) — Bidragyder — 27 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Best Australian Essays 2002 (2002) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2007 (2007) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2001 (2001) — Bidragyder — 21 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2005 (2005) — Bidragyder — 17 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2003 (2003) — Bidragyder — 15 eksemplarer
Penguin Australian Summer Stories (1999) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2014 (2014) — Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
A Return to Poetry (1998) — Bidragyder — 8 eksemplarer
Seams of Light: Best Antipodean Essays (1998) — Bidragyder — 7 eksemplarer

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Many readers will be familiar with the tragic death of Joe Cinque in Canberra in 1997 and the subsequent trial of his killer Anu Singh who administered a lethal cocktail of drugs and then, as he lay dying, failed to call an ambulance in time to save his life.

After reading my review of The Widow of Walcha by Emma Partridge last year, and my astonishment at the despicable cruelty by one of the most cold and calculating females in Australia, a friend I trust recommended I read Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner. Another reader familiar with my reading tastes also recommended it after seeing my review of Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner in 2018 so I guess it was time.

Briefly familiar with the crime and subsequent court cases, my initial hesitancy grew from a concern I would struggle to come to terms with the legal outcome. At the same time I was curious to see how the great Helen Garner would approach the case and decided to listen to the audiobook read by the author in conjunction with the paperback.

The book begins with a transcript of Anu Singh's 000 call and it infuriated me so much I could barely listen. It took paramedics 20 minutes to get the correct address from the caller who gave a false name and false address and was fuelled by her own histrionics, sense of entitlement and selfish fears about what was going to happen to her. Beginning with the most harrowing material first was an inspired choice and immediately set the scene on the despicable type of person Anu Singh was on that night, and no doubt still is.

Garner tries to remain impartial and approaches people from both sides of the case for their input, but I enjoyed her writing most when she shared her frustrations and irritations, from the very minor - as in the quote to follow - right up to the soul destroying question of justice and duty of care.

When describing the first expert witness in the case for the Defence, Dr Byrne, a clinical and forensic psychologist from Melbourne, Garner observes:

"Something about him got up my nose. Was it his debonair and stagy demeanour, his habit of addressing the judge man-to-man, his didactic listing and numbering of points as if to a room full of freshers?" Page 37

When reflecting on the culpability of Madhavi Rao and her role in sourcing the drugs and failing to prevent Joe Cinque's death, Garner fears Rao will end up serving more time in jail than Singh because she didn't suffer from psychiatric delusions; she wasn't mad.

"Where does one person's influence end, and another's responsibility begin?" Page 177

A really poignant question and not one I found a satisfactory answer to. Singh's relationship dynamic with Joe was possessive and manipulative and displayed the hallmarks of a narcissistic cycle of abuse. It's these characteristics and sheer disregard for Joe's welfare that place Singh in the same category as another cold hearted and self motivated killer, Natasha Darcy. How did these women control and manipulate their partners while hiding their torturous and ultimately murderous intent?

To her immense credit, Helen Garner built a personable relationship with the Cinque family and Joe's mother Maria in particular. Garner continually questions her involvement with the family but I genuinely believe she was a source of comfort during the trial of both women right through to their individual verdicts and beyond.

"Nothing I could think of to say or do would ever be of any use to her. I was helpless, only a vessel into which she would pour forever this terrible low fast stream of anguish. The pressure of her pain was intolerable. I would give way under it. I too would fail her. I did not know how to bring the phone call to an end. But then she got a grip on herself. Once more she drew on her deep reserves of formal grace, and let me off the hook. We would see each other - yes, we would meet again in Canberra. I asked her to give Nino my best wishes, and offered the same to her. With dignity she accepted my timid crumbs. We said goodbye. I hung up, exhausted, in awe. I longed to know her, but I was afraid that I would not be strong enough." Page 194-195

Garner bears witness to the never ending depths of the grief suffered by Joe Cinque's family, but in sharing her vulnerability she also demonstrates the toll it can take on those standing close to that chasm of emotional torment and loss. Maria's grace is an inspiration to Garner, just as the author's strength became an inspiration to me.

At the end of reading Joe Cinque's Consolation - A True Story of Death, Grief and the Law I'm left feeling utterly bereft and bewildered. The complete lack of justice for Joe or consequences for his killer and the person who could have stopped his death took my breath away. There's no justice in this case, both women seem to have no remorse and are now free to live their lives while the Cinque family continue to grieve the loss of their son and brother.

Helen Garner isn't able to offer any hope here, but using the gift of her writing and drawing on her own fortitude, she has successfully managed to shine a light on this terrible case, give comfort to Joe's family and educate readers and that will have to be consolation enough.
… (mere)
Carpe_Librum | 14 andre anmeldelser | Jul 4, 2024 |
[b:This House of Grief|22814793|This House of Grief|Helen Garner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1414003135l/22814793._SY75_.jpg|42364536] is not my standard fare, a grim courtroom drama featuring the trial of a father grieving his impending divorce who drove his car with his three sons into a dam and all drowned but the dad. Did he really have a coughing fit rendering him unconscious or was it an act of revenge? The story is spellbinding presenting insight into courtroom machinations, trauma and memory and the author is [a:Helen Garner|332165|Helen Garner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1332565089p2/332165.jpg], my new favorite writer. If you don't want to read about this event, read her diaries and novels.… (mere)
featherbooks | 19 andre anmeldelser | May 7, 2024 |
My new favorite author is [a:Helen Garner|332165|Helen Garner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1332565089p2/332165.jpg]. [b:The Children's Bach|83817408|The Children's Bach|Helen Garner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1684815445l/83817408._SY75_.jpg|2810409] is an antipodean (a chance to use that word!) domestic novel of parents and children, friends and lovers, siblings and spouses, beautifully written, loosely structured, not long but an honest examination of the social freedoms of the eighties with musical references. Effort is required to keep track of the eight major characters. It's a good companion read to [b:The Spare Room|3014272|The Spare Room|Helen Garner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1347763965l/3014272._SY75_.jpg|3044813] which covers friendship and concerns about mortality at a later stage in life.… (mere)
featherbooks | 7 andre anmeldelser | May 7, 2024 |
Only just discovered this Australian essayist, film critic and novelist (and who knows what other -ist) but I immediately ordered 3 copies as gifts just for "The Insults of Age." Best described by Garner herself: "Really, it is astonishing how much shit a woman will cop in the interests of civic and domestic order." She also writes of Antipodean authors I'd forgotten such as Jolley, Winton, Janet Malcolm, plus a piece on Russell Crowe. She discusses with insight and a magnetic offhandedness ballet, death, dogs, abortion, mothers, grandkids, an ogre teacher, houses, and criminal trials. A treasure.… (mere)
featherbooks | 14 andre anmeldelser | May 7, 2024 |



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