Across 40 years of work, Helen Garner’s writing has been unsparing, in equal measure, of her subjects and of herself. Now, Bernadette Brennan has completed the first full-length study of Garner’s career, A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work. This literary portrait maps the writer’s life against her work, including the previously unavailable National Library of Australia archive of her personal papers. Bernadette talks to Susan Wyndham about scrutinising the life of the sharpest self-scrutiniser. 

Bernadette Brennan (Australian)

Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan is a critic and researcher of contemporary Australian writing. Her most recent work, A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work, offers a fascinating literary portrait of one of Australia’s best-loved authors. Bernadette's literary criticism has been published widely in Australia and abroad. She is the recipient of the Copyright Agency's inaugural Fellowship for Non-Fiction and is currently writing a biography of Gillian Mears. Bernadette is also one of five judges for the Miles Franklin Award.

Susan Wyndham (Australian)

Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham is a journalist, writer and book reviewer. She is the former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. Her books include Life In His Hands: the true story of a neurosurgeon and a pianist, and My Mother, My Father: on losing a parent.