Current Issue #488

Book Review:
Helen Garner's Yellow Notebook

In what is promised to be the first volume of Helen Garner’s diaries, Yellow Notebook sees the doyen of Australian literature on the cusp of greatness.

Curated excerpts – which range from a few words to a single paragraph – see Monkey Grip gathering recognition while around her relationships breakdown, children grow up and the author moves into middle age.

Following Garner’s notes on her process and craft as she pens The Children’s Bach and a number of short stories is as intriguing as it is deeply humbling – even the greats struggle with insecurity. Though there is a certain class blindness to Garner’s observations, this is unlikely to perturb fans who worship this singular voice who will keenly await volume two.

Yellow Notebook:
Diaries Volume 1 1978 – 1987

Author: Helen Garner
Publisher: Text Publishing

Kylie Maslen

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Kylie Maslen is a writer and critic from Kaurna/Adelaide, and the author of Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness (Text Publishing).

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