Helen Garner

Brief Biography

Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong and educated at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1965. She work as a high school teacher until her first novel Monkey Grip was published in 1977. It was an instant success, winning a National Book Council award in 1978 and being filmed in 1982. Since that time she has written full-time on novels, screenplays, freelance reviewer, feature writer and translator. Her collection of short stories, Postcards from Surfers won a 1986 NSW Premier's Literary award, and her short novel The Children's Bach (considered one of the greatest short novels ever written in Australia) won a SA Premier's Literary Award in 1986. Her novel Cosmo Cosmolino was nominated for a Miles Franklin Award in 1993.

In 1993 she won a Walkley Award for feature journalism for her story in Time magazine about the Daniel Valerio case. Her non-fiction book, The First Stone caused a huge uproar when it was published in 1995. An uproar that was astounding in its vitriolic abuse and probably only equalled in this country in recent times by the Demidenko Affair in 1996.


Monkey Grip 1977
Moving Out 1983
The Children's Bach 1984
Cosmo Cosmolino 1992

Short-Story Collections
Honor & Other People's Children: two stories 1980
Postcards from Surfers 1985
My Hard Heart: Selected Fictions 1998

La Mama, the Story of a Theatre 1988
The First Stone 1995
True Stories: Selected Non-Fiction 1996
The Feel of Steel 2001
Joe Cinque's Consolaton 2004

Monkey Grip 1982, with and directed by Ken Cameron
Two Friends 1986, directed by Jane Campion - made for TV
The Last Days of Chez Nous 1992, directed by Gillian Armstrong

This page and its contents are copyright © 2002-04 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: November 27, 2004.