Helen Garner was best known as a fiction writer and freelance journalist until 1994, when The First Stone, her account of a university sexual harassment case, provoked a national controversy. Since then she has become one of Australia’s most respected writers of essays and nonfiction.
The Spare Room, her first novel in fifteen years, tells a story of compassion and rage as two friends - one sceptical, one stubbornly serene – negotiate their way through the trials of terminal illness- Sydney Writers' Festival
Caroline Baum was born and educated in London. She joined the editorial staff of British Vogue at the age of sixteen before going to York University to study philosophy and politics.
As a researcher for Michael Parkinson at the BBC and for Melvyn Bragg at London Weekend television, she interviewed many prominent figures in the arts including Ingrid Bergman, Trevor Nunn, David Lean, Peter Brook, and Jiri Kylian.
Arriving in Australia in 1984, Caroline was appointed arts editor of Melbourne's Sunday Herald. As features editor at Vogue Australia, she initiated the first guest-edited issue by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
Caroline presented ABC TV's book show "Between the Lines" and was executive producer of ABC Radio National's "Arts Today." She later hosted Foxtel's book show "Talking Books."
In 2001, Caroline became the founding editor of Good Reading magazine.
In 2006, she produced and co-wrote her first television documentary, In Search of Bony, for SBS. Her company Two Heads Media currently has several TV projects in development. She is a regular contributor to national newspapers and magazines.
Caroline's photographic work is held in the Wollongong City Gallery. She has also designed a range of fabrics under her own label, Mollusc.
Helen Garner published her first novel, Monkey Grip, in 1977. She was best known as a fiction writer (The Children's Bach, Postcards from Surfers, Cosmo Cosmolino, My Hard Heart) and freelance journalist until 1994, when The First Stone, her account of a university sexual harassment case, provoked a national controversy.
Since then, she has become one of Australia's most respected writers of essays and nonfiction. In 2004 she published the best-selling Joe Cinque's Consolation about the murder of a young man in Canberra in 1997. The Spare Room is her first novel in fifteen years.
Author Helen Garner talks about how she chooses the specific words in her work and her practice of taking notes of good words while reading to help her get through those moments when the word she wants eludes her.
Helen Garner discusses reactions to her book The Spare Room and how it dealt with the anger a caregiver can feel towards a dying loved one, an emotion that seems illegitimate or inappropriate in that situation.