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y The Spare Room single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008 2008
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Helen lives in Melbourne, and her friend Nicola flies down from Sydney for a three-week visit. She will sleep in Helen's house, in her lovingly prepared spare room. This is no ordinary visit. Nicola has advanced cancer and is seeking alternative treatment from a clinic in Helen's city. From the moment Nicola steps off the plane, gaunt, staggering like a crone, her voice hoarse but still with something grand about her, Helen becomes her nurse, her protector, her guardian angel and her stony judge.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Epigraph: 'It is a privilege to prepare the place where someone else will sleep.' - Elizabeth Jolley
  • Epigraph: '... or is this the way the heart behaves when it grieves?' - Louise Gluck.
  • Briefly noted in the New York Times Book Review, 115.6 (7 February 2010): 24.
  • Reading Group Guide available through the Text Publishing website.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2008 .
      8909906967026009301.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 195p.
      Note/s:
      • Published April 2008
      ISBN: 9781921351396 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Henry Holt , 2008 .
      4526316137398161234.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      ISBN: 9780805088885
    • Edinburgh,
      c
      Scotland,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Canongate , 2008 .
      3491297063082426278.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 195p.
      ISBN: 9781847672650 (hbk.)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2009 .
      6556153448437273202.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 208p.
      ISBN: 9781921520280 (pbk.)
Alternative title: De logeerkamer
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      De Bezige Bij , 2008 .
      4886814340102686920.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 164p.
      ISBN: 9789023428923

Works about this Work

Confronting the Dark : Using Practice-led Research to Write about Death Karen M. Klima , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 35 2016;
'In this article, I describe how my personal experience of death prompted the writing of a novel and how the practice of writing about death led me to develop a critical inquiry into Continental philosophy and other theories of death. I discuss philosophical approaches to living authentically in the face of death and the human tendency to search for meaning. I undertake a close reading of Helen Garner’s The Spare Room (2008) in light of these issues and the changing attitudes to death since modernism, particularly the need for open communication about death and the importance for the dying in feeling that their life has significance for other people.' (Publication abstract)
A Friendship Tested in the Shadow of Death Edwina Shaw , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 February 2013; (p. 20-1-21)
Alfred Tennyson and Helen Garner in an Age of Doubt Michael Jensen , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , May vol. 56 no. 5 2012; (p. 63-69)
Un Oleaje Renovado Winston Manrique Sabogal , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: El país , 7 May 2011;
Además del Nobel Patrick White y del doblemente galardonado con el Booker Peter Carey, la lista de autores australianos es creciente en España. Una literatura sin tópicos ni etiquetas. [The number of Australian writers, besides Patrick White and Peter Carey, who are known and read in Spain is growing. Theirs is a literature that exceeds classifications or labels - Translation.]
The Interview : Helen Garner Shannon Burns (interviewer), 2011 single work interview
— Appears in: Wet Ink , no. 24 2011; (p. 28-32)
'Author of Monkey Grip, The Children's Bach, and The First Stone - as well as other award-winning non-fiction - Helen Garner has kept readers on their toes for more than three decades. After sixteen years of non-fiction, readers might have assumed that Cosmo Cosmolino (1992) was destined to be the last of Garner's major fiction. Then, in 2008, The Spare Room - a novel based largely on three weeks spent nursing a terminally ill friend - was released to widespread critical acclaim.' (p. 28)
Untitled Lionel Shriver , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Wall Street Journal , 12 March 2011; (p. C10)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
A Meditation on Milestones Emily Millane , 2010 single work prose
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 4 June vol. 20 no. 10 2010;
The Immediate Now Shannon Burns , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , October no. 368 2010; (p. 12)
'All That Beauty, All That Wealth E'er Gave' Richard Scott Carr , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 24 no. 1 2010; (p. 112-113)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 March 2009; (p. 26)
A column canvassing current literary news including a report on the announcement of the 2009 Barbara Jefferis Award (awarded to Helen Garner for The Spare Room).
Garner Book Given a Room in West End Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 August 2009; (p. 3)
Jason Steger reports on plans by British actor Eileen Atkins to adapt Helen Garner's The Spare Room for a London stage production.
Garner's Spare Room Occupied in UK Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 12 August 2009; (p. 7)

Discusses the plans of British actor Eileen Atkins to adapt Helen Garner's novel The Spare Room for the stage.

Dramatic Turn for Garner Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 14 August 2009; (p. 13)
Creativity on the Campus Stephen Muecke , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 30 September 2009; (p. 28)
Living in Stories : Creative Nonfiction as an Effective Genre for Writing About Death and Bereavement Sandra Arnold , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 13 no. 2 2009;
'Through the telling of stories and interaction with listener or audience, we give structure to our experience and create order and meaning. Written narrative is, therefore, a medium well suited to exploring the experience of death and bereavement. 'We live in stories, not statistics,' Gilbert says (2002: 223). Parents' stories of their children's deaths serve the same purpose as parents' stories of their living children's ongoing lives. Writing about the death of one's child is a way not only to continue bonds and help other bereaved parents, but also a way to allow the 'wounded storyteller' to give voice to the dead and facilitate catharsis in the teller. Utilising the techniques of creative nonfiction to write such a story, the writer can create a compelling narrative that allows writer and reader to enter 'the space of the story for the other'. This paper discusses the human affinity with story telling and the reasons the bereaved write their stories. It also defines the genre of creative nonfiction and outlines the history of its development. Finally it examines four creative nonfiction texts that have influenced my own writing on the topic of parental bereavement.'
A Visit from Death Liesl Schillinger , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 15 February vol. 114 no. 7 2009; (p. 12)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
On My Bedside Table Lis Hoffmann , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 13 June 2009; (p. 20)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
The Spare Room and The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady Rachel Robertson , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Indigo , Summer no. 3 2009; (p. 172-176)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel ; The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady : A Writer Looks at Creativity and Neuroscience Sue Woolfe 2007 single work prose
This Year's Work in Fiction 2008-2009 Susan Midalia , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 54 no. 1 2009; (p. 51-64)

— Review of The Pages Murray Bail 2008 single work novel ; The Lieutenant Kate Grenville 2008 single work novel ; The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel ; The Anatomy of Wings Karen Foxlee 2006 single work novel ; Boy On A Wire Jon Doust 2009 single work novel ; The Sinkings Amanda Curtin 2008 single work novel ; Bird Sophie Cunningham 2008 single work novel ; One Foot Wrong Sofie Laguna 2008 single work novel ; Avenue of Eternal Peace Nicholas Jose 1989 single work novel ; Life in Seven Mistakes Susan Johnson 2008 single work novel ; The Steele Diaries Wendy James 2008 single work novel ; Butterfly Sonya Hartnett 2009 single work novel ; Dissection Jacinta Halloran 2007 single work novel ; Fugitive Blue Claire Thomas 2008 single work novel ; Sweet Tracy Ryan 2008 single work novel ; The Virtuoso Sonia Orchard 2009 single work novel ; Ransom David Malouf 2009 single work novel ; The Good Parents Joan London 2008 single work novel ; Vertigo : A Pastoral Amanda Lohrey 2008 single work novella ; The Boat Nam Le 2008 selected work short story ; New Australian Stories 2009 anthology short story ; The Slap Christos Tsiolkas 2008 single work novel
Between Two Worlds Deborah Bogle , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 29 March 2008; (p. 13)
Untitled David Gaunt , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , February vol. 87 no. 6 2008; (p. 38)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Opening Up the Spare Room Rachel Buchanan , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 29 March 2008; (p. 25)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Human Truths Revealed in Tale of Fight Against Mortality Geoffrey Lehmann , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 29-30 March 2008; (p. 8-9)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Unsentimental Dedication Pamela Bone , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , April vol. 3 no. 3 2008; (p. 4)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Gimlet-Eyed Meditation on Duties of Care Melinda Harvey , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 5 April 2008; (p. 12)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
A Desperate Search for Hope and Dignity A. P. Riemer , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 5-6 April 2008; (p. 32)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Rage against Dying Light Katharine England , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 12 April 2008; (p. 12)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Mortal Ones Peter Rose , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 301 2008; (p. 25-26)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Untitled Craig Brittain , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , June no. 340 2008; (p. 26)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Brutal, Brilliant John Clare , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 22 June 2008; (p. 10-11)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
In at the End Caroline Miller , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 11 July no. 5493 2008; (p. 20)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
Open Door Policy for a Most Unwelcome Guest Tom Adair , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Scotsman , 26 July 2008; (p. 18)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
No Denying It Alberto Manguel , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Spectator , 19 July 2008; (p. 35)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
A Literary Revelation from the Final Chapter of a Life Stevie Davies , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Independent , 18 July 2008;

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
An Absolutely Compelling Story of Living with Death Diana Athill , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Independent , 13 July 2008;

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
The Cabbage Juice Cure Michel Faber , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian , 12 July 2008; (p. 10)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
A Passionate End to a Bohemian Rhapsody Olivia Laing , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Observer , 6 July 2008; (p. 29)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
The Bright Side of Death Penny Perrick , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Times , 6 July 2008; (p. 45)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
In Denial to the Bitter End Neel Mukherjee , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Times , 28 June 2008; (p. 12)

— Review of The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel
An Anthropological Turn? Nathan Hollier , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 192 2008; (p. 88-92)

— Review of On a Wing and a Prayer Peter Bensley 2006 single work novel ; The Lost Dog Michelle De Kretser 2007 single work novel ; Musk and Byrne Fiona Capp 2008 single work novel ; The Solemn Lantern Maker Merlinda Bobis 2008 single work novel ; The Biographer Virginia Patricia Duigan 2008 single work novel ; The Spare Room Helen Garner 2008 single work novel ; They Called Me the Wildman : The Prison Diary of Henricke Nelson Robert Hollingworth 2008 single work novel ; Many Years a Thief David Hutchison 2007 single work novel ; Jamaica : A Novel Malcolm Knox 2007 single work novel ; The Good Parents Joan London 2008 single work novel ; Black Sheep : A Dystopian Novel Ben Peek 2007 single work novel ; Misconceptions Sophie Townsend 2008 single work novel
Between Two Worlds Deborah Bogle , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 29 March 2008; (p. 13)
It's Fiction and That's a Fact Jason Steger , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 29 March 2008; (p. 24-25)
Helen Garner discusses her novel The Spare Room with Jason Steger. She explains her dissatisfaction with distinctions between fiction and non-fiction writing, and argues that readers want 'a space opened up by the author where they can linger and compare their experiences, thoughts and emotions with those of the character'.
Facts in the Fiction Susan Wyndham , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 March 2008; (p. 26-27)
Truly Helen Kate Legge , 2008 single work biography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 29-30 March 2008; (p. 16-19, 21)
Life and Death Conversation Gillian Lord , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 5 April 2008; (p. 11-12)
Kitchen-Table Candour Robert Dessaix , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Monthly , April no. 33 2008; (p. 58, 60)
Garner Novel Hits a Nerve Bill Birnbauer , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 6 July 2008; (p. 19)
Byng Blasts Booker over Garner Jason Steger , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 9 August 2008; (p. 31)
A column canvassing current literary news including reaction from Canongate publisher Jamie Byng over the exclusion of Helen Garner's The Spare Room from the 2008 Booker Prize longlist.
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9-10 August 2008; (p. 28)
A column canvassing current literary news including reaction from Canongate publisher Jamie Byng over the exclusion of Helen Garner's The Spare Room from the 2008 Booker Prize longlist.
Six Great Cover Ideas W. H. Chong , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 67 no. 3 2008; (p. 19-24)
Garner Gratified over Gong as Zinc Paved with Literary Gold Jason Steger , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 2 September 2008; (p. 4)
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 March 2009; (p. 26)
A column canvassing current literary news including a report on the announcement of the 2009 Barbara Jefferis Award (awarded to Helen Garner for The Spare Room).
Garner Book Given a Room in West End Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 August 2009; (p. 3)
Jason Steger reports on plans by British actor Eileen Atkins to adapt Helen Garner's The Spare Room for a London stage production.
Garner's Spare Room Occupied in UK Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 12 August 2009; (p. 7)

Discusses the plans of British actor Eileen Atkins to adapt Helen Garner's novel The Spare Room for the stage.

Dramatic Turn for Garner Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 14 August 2009; (p. 13)
Creativity on the Campus Stephen Muecke , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 30 September 2009; (p. 28)
Living in Stories : Creative Nonfiction as an Effective Genre for Writing About Death and Bereavement Sandra Arnold , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 13 no. 2 2009;
'Through the telling of stories and interaction with listener or audience, we give structure to our experience and create order and meaning. Written narrative is, therefore, a medium well suited to exploring the experience of death and bereavement. 'We live in stories, not statistics,' Gilbert says (2002: 223). Parents' stories of their children's deaths serve the same purpose as parents' stories of their living children's ongoing lives. Writing about the death of one's child is a way not only to continue bonds and help other bereaved parents, but also a way to allow the 'wounded storyteller' to give voice to the dead and facilitate catharsis in the teller. Utilising the techniques of creative nonfiction to write such a story, the writer can create a compelling narrative that allows writer and reader to enter 'the space of the story for the other'. This paper discusses the human affinity with story telling and the reasons the bereaved write their stories. It also defines the genre of creative nonfiction and outlines the history of its development. Finally it examines four creative nonfiction texts that have influenced my own writing on the topic of parental bereavement.'
A Meditation on Milestones Emily Millane , 2010 single work prose
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 4 June vol. 20 no. 10 2010;
The Immediate Now Shannon Burns , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , October no. 368 2010; (p. 12)
Un Oleaje Renovado Winston Manrique Sabogal , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: El país , 7 May 2011;
Además del Nobel Patrick White y del doblemente galardonado con el Booker Peter Carey, la lista de autores australianos es creciente en España. Una literatura sin tópicos ni etiquetas. [The number of Australian writers, besides Patrick White and Peter Carey, who are known and read in Spain is growing. Theirs is a literature that exceeds classifications or labels - Translation.]
Last amended 20 Oct 2015 16:09:23
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