'The loss of a parent is an experience that we all face without any training - relating to a parent through old age and illness; going through the actual death in different circumstances and whether we can help parents to have a good death; the emotional aftermath - shock, grief, relief, the effect on families; funerals, wills and other rituals; clearing out the house and keeping memories alive; recovery and carrying on with life; the longer-term changes in us and our relationship with our parents. Edited by Sydney Morning Herald literary editor, journalist and writer Susan Wyndham, My Mother, My Father is a collection of stories from 14 remarkable Australian writers, sharing what it is to feel loss, and all the experiences and memories that create the image of our parents. Contributors include Helen Garner, David Marr, Tom Keneally, Gerard Windsor, Susan Duncan and Caroline Baum. These stories are intimate, honest, moving, sometimes funny, never sentimental, and always well written.' (Publisher's blurb)
'In The Best Australian Essays 2014, Robert Manne assembles his picks of contemporary non-fiction writing. Tim Winton reflects on the impact of landscape on the Australian character; Helen Garner remembers her mother with a raw and stirring poignancy; Christos Tsiolkas wonders how the Left forgot their origins; Tim Flannery traces the history of the Great Barrier Reef and fears its destruction. With essays traversing madness, liberty under the rule of Tony Abbott, the enslaving of horses and the legacy of Doris Lessing, this sharp collection offers lucid insight, shrewd understanding and heartbreaking empathy.' (Publication summary)
'Every day I work on the edit of my book. I slog away, shifting chunks of material and moving them back, eating my salad in a daze, wondering if the linking passages I’ve written are leading me up a garden path, or are sentimental, or violate some unarticulated moral and technical code I’ve signed up to and feel trapped in or obliged to. The sheer bloody labour of writing. No one but another writer understands it—the heaving about of great boulders into a stable arrangement so that you can bound up them and plant your little flag at the very top.
'Spanning fifteen years of work, Helen Garner’s Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments—sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and laughter. 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. 'Everywhere I Look includes Garner’s famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life. ' (Publication summary)