It’s an excerpt from a new book about her, called A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work by Bernadette Brennan.
Then I read this:
[After discarding a third draft of the Farquharson book] Garner once again contemplated dropping the whole project but she could not break free. Then, in February 2012, she received a letter from a police officer’s wife. In part it read: “The issue of why men kill their children is enormously important… Your book will also be read by people like my husband, the police detective, who may gain an insight that will help him deal with the issue on a professional level. Or at least gain a sense that his own bewilderment is shared.”
I wrote that letter!!!! To say thank you after attending one of Helen’s writing classes (during which she spoke about struggling with the Farquharson book).
I’m shocked and kind of thrilled all at once.
To keep it in perspective, Helen Garner subsequently contacted me after I sent that letter. I was super excited, until it became clear that she wanted to take my HUSBAND out for a coffee. Not me. Sigh. He went, had a nice chat with HG and now teases me about HIS friend Helen Garner. C’est la vie.