Genre: Essay collection
Publisher: Text Publishing
Everywhere I look is a collection of Helen Garner’s diary entries, essays, and observations which are bound together to create a glimpse into the brain and life of this award-winning writer. This collection ranges in themes and subject but has a consistent voice of an author who is forever questioning not only her place in the world but the place and significance of societal structures, institutions and how people come to be who they are.
With chapters about her friendship with fellow award-winning author Tim Winton, to observations on the way her grandchildren interact with herself and each other, Helen Garner creates a fly-on-the-wall scenario for readers where you (the reader) feel happy to sit back and observe the scene with interest and focus.
Before I get to my thoughts on Everywhere I Look I’d like to know if you’ve read any Helen Garner before? Let me know in the comments below if you have and which book was your first Helen Garner. For those of you who may not know, Helen Garner is an award-winning Australian writer who has famously never shied away from difficult themes and topics – in saying that, she often divides readers, so I’m really interested to know what you guys think of her books! I’ve read Spare Room and now Everywhere I look and have enjoyed both immensely.
I listened to Helen Garner narrate Everywhere I look as an audio book, which I found so rewarding. Garner’s voice (literally and authorial) is steady, representative of the themes, honest and a consistent master of pace and wit. I found myself nodding along with the themes I agreed with and listening with focus on the chapters which were removed from my own experience. I highly recommend Everywhere I Look to anyone who loves Melbourne and stories which are set within it. Garner’s work often places Melbourne as a significant setting in her work and I absolutely love that as it speaks to my interest and love for the city and its surrounding suburbs.
If you like short story collections, Helen Garner’s writing, Melbourne, life observations and reflecting on the little things, you’re going to love Everywhere I Look.