Everywhere I Look

Everywhere I Look


by Helen Garner
AUG 2017

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Publication Date: 31 August, 2017
Extent: 240pp
Format: paperback
ISBN: 9781925498080
Rights: World: Text Publishing

  • Shortlisted, Kibble Literary Award for an established author, 2018
  • Winner, Australian Book Industry Award, General Nonfiction, 2017
  • Winner, Indie Book Award for Non Fiction, 2017
  • Shortlisted, New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Douglas Steward Prize for Non-Fiction, 2017
  • Longlisted, Australian Book Industry Award, 2017

Helen Garner is one of Australia’s greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

Everywhere I Look includes Garner’s famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life.


Guardian—watching Russell Crowe films
Lithub—reading Pride and Prejudice


ABC 7.30 with Leigh Sales
Lithub with John Freeman

Times Literary Supplement


‘Garner is a natural storyteller: her unillusioned eye makes her clarity compulsive…What gives the memoir its power, as so often in Garner’s writing, is that she is unsparing, in equal measure, of her subject and of herself, and that she so relishes complicated feelings…[Everywhere I Look] is made singular by Garner’s almost reckless honesty, and brought alive by her mortal details.’ James Woods, New Yorker

‘Imagine a writer who writes with the humour and precision of Joy Williams, the warmth and ferocity of Elena Ferrante, and the investigative rigor of Janet Malcolm…Read this book and you will wonder how you lived for years without Garner’s voice in your ear.’ John Freeman, LitHub

‘Garner’s prose is so very pleasant to read – dry, relaxed sentences that calmly reach out towards loveliness…[Her] willingness to look at and truly see the failures of human behaviour, in herself no less than in others, that lends her work its power.’ Guardian

‘These and other richly human subjects connect the author emotionally to her readers…Like strolling around in an idiosyncratic, surprising, and informative museum.’ Kirkus

‘There’s not a word wasted or out of place. Garner observes, intuits, shares and cares about the lives she writes about like no-one else. Readers will laugh, cry, squirm and gasp and wonder. It’s Garner’s unique gift as a writer, and it’s beautifully realised in Everywhere I Look.’ Books + Publishing

‘Helen Garner is still at the top of her game and full of surprises.’ New Zealand Listener

‘This is Garner in an expansive mood writing gracefully about everything from her family to ballet to the dawn service.’ Spectator

‘There is nothing casual or accidental about Everywhere I Look…Its curated sense of a series of engagements with place, people, and objects, presents a way of writing autobiography which seems unintentional, yet coherent all the same…Helen Garner in this latest work adds to our thinking about writing, how it is done, and for what purpose.’ Australian Book Review

‘It is a rich, beautiful book by a poet of the everyday, a sheer master of prose. Give it to your grandmother, give it to your tweeting girlfriend. Give it to any man or woman who understands the magic of language. It will hurl them into great gulfs of pleasure, of turmoil and understanding and joy.’ Australian

‘Garner’s style celebrates and enacts containment and minimalism…Its tenderness and brutality cultivate fruitful and interesting kitchen table conversations spanning the grace and indignity of being “all too human.”’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald

‘[Garner’s] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it…She has laid the groundwork for a generation of writers; she has repeatedly shown us the glory and the power of an English sentence.’ Monthly

‘[Garner’s] tone is calm, the language clear and considered…Garner stamps her sensibility on all she writes. For which her fans will be grateful.’ Stuff NZ

‘Similar to a hike, the book is best enjoyed without straining to finish it. It’s full of moments to pause and reflect. More importantly, it stirs up that addictive, expansive feeling only the best books can achieve: that you have reached the final page changed, perhaps even a better and more thoughtful person from having travelled alongside Garner’s observations for a time.’ Daily Review

‘There is much to engage the reader at several levels…Garner is at her very best when she writes about children with a grandmother’s intense affection, or about friendships.’ Spinoff

‘It’s an enormous, miscellaneous range of subject matter, made all the more compelling by the luxuriant strength of Garner’s prose - each phrase considered and crafted in the manner of an artisan. Everywhere I Look is a delicious literary degustation in which each morsel is its own reward.’ Qantas Magazine