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Alternative title: [Essay] : The Children’s Bach
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... 2013 Reading Australia : Helen Garner's 'The Children's Bach'
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Houses, and their domestic spaces of intimacy and negotiation, sit at the core of Helen Garner’s early fiction. Most often they are large, communal houses in Melbourne’s Carlton or Fitzroy, places where a generation of youngish countercultural musicians, artists, and wounded souls challenge the accepted rules of sexual relationships and attempt to redefine what might constitute family. In the kitchens and bedrooms of Monkey Grip (1977), Honour and Other People’s Children (1980), and Cosmo Cosmolino (1992), Garner’s characters wrestle with their passions and ideals. The new patterns of living that they establish offer, particularly for the women, a sense of liberating possibility beyond marriage and childrearing, but that freedom is coupled with compromise and loss. In The Children’s Bach (1984), Garner shifts her focus to the suburban household of a married couple. In this novella, she both critiques and celebrates the burdens of responsibility and commitment.' (Publication summary)


  • Epigraph: ‘For our house is our corner of our world … If we look at it intimately, the humblest dwelling has beauty.’ – Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Reading Australia Copyright Agency (publisher), Australia : Copyright Agency , 2013 6495537 2013 website

    'Copyright Agency has developed Reading Australia to make significant Australian literary works more readily available for teaching in schools and universities. These works are being supplemented with online teacher resources and essays by popular authors about the enduring relevance of the works.'

    Source: Reading Australia ( (Sighted: 8/10/2013)

    AustLit is providing a series of curated trails for the Reading Australia project. They can be viewed here.

    Australia : Copyright Agency , 2013
    Note: With title: [Essay] : The Children’s Bach
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Book Review ABR no. 371 May 2015 8646512 2015 periodical issue 2015 pg. 49-51
Last amended 25 May 2017 11:53:03
49-51 Reading Australia : Helen Garner's 'The Children's Bach'small AustLit logo Australian Book Review Reading Australia : Helen Garner's 'The Children's Bach'small AustLit logo
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