The Old Butcher’s Bookshop’ in Paris, a rare

The Old Butcher’s Bookshop’ in Paris, a rare

Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous.I pedal over to Kensington just after dark. As I roll along the lane towards the railway underpass, a young Asian woman on her way home from the station walks out of the tunnel towards me. After she passes there’s a stillness, a moment of silent freshness that feels like spring.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.I pedal over to Kensington just after dark. As I roll along the lane towards the railway underpass, a young Asian woman on her way home from the station.

The sections of The Fighter that describe Melbourne’s postwar Jewish community are wonderfully evocative and vibrant. The reader feels transported back in time. What’s it like for you as a writer to go back and relive those times

I love writing about those times and places, partly because I knew them so well. I love writing about the physical neighbourhood, the textures, the changes of an inner suburban neighbourhood during the turning of the seasons. I love taking the reader both into the streets and into those small terraced houses, and out into the backyard boxing gym, and to introduce them to a range of characters across cultural boundaries—although of course, there are darker and disturbing elements to the times, and to the streets, which must be brought to light.

—these darker shades are also an integral part of the writing, of transporting people to those times. Each time I go back to the neighbourhood, and relive it, I discover something new, or recover a memory long forgotten, evoked and accessed by returning to the streets of the old neighbourhood. It was a special.

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