In this second volume of diaries from one of Australia’s greatest writers, we see Garner in love; asking herself questions about relationships, individuality, morality and contentment. For readers of Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, and avid Garner fans, this volume illuminates the inner life of a writer with all its turmoil and joy.
Why should it be any different from any other love affair? Why shouldn’t it run through its phases, wither, and die? I’d better work if I want to survive this, and if I want to play my full and proper part in it. Who wants a lovesick, lazy drip, obsessed with her own emotions and full of resentment against fate?
I can only live the thing to its fullest extent. This is what life is. It’s not for saying no.
Helen Garner’s second volume of diaries charts a tumultuous stage in her life. Beginning in 1987, as she embarks on an affair that she knows will be all-consuming, and ending in 1995 with the publication of The First Stone and the bombshell that followed it, Garner reveals the inner life of a woman in love and a great writer at work.
With devastating honesty, she grapples with what it means for her sense of self to be so entwined with another-how to survive as an artist in a partnership that is both thrilling and uncompromising. And through it all we see the elevating, and grounding, power of work.