Lisa Gorton on Helen Garner's third volume of diaries

The sense of an ending
The ABR Podcast 20 January 2022

Lisa Gorton on Helen Garner's third volume of diaries

The sense of an ending
The ABR Podcast 20 January 2022

Peter Porter


‘I would like to write about dominance, revulsion, separation, the horrible struggles between people who love each other,’ wrote Helen Garner, foreshadowing How to End a Story, the final instalment of her published diaries, following Yellow Notebook (2019) and One Day I’ll Remember This (2020). While the first two volumes spanned eight years apiece, How to End a Story spans only three. Starting in 1995, shortly after the release of Garner’s The First Stone, it details the dissolution of her marriage to another writer, V. As Lisa Gorton notes, this volume differs from its precursors both in tone and focus: ‘This one is as compelling as a detective story. This one is edited with the sense of an ending.’

Lisa Gorton is an award-winning poet, novelist, and critic, and a former Poetry Editor of ABR. Her most recent book is a collection of poems, Empirical (Giramondo, 2019).

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