Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Postcards from Surfers

Rate this book
From one of Australia's most celebrated writers comes eleven stories about the complexities of life and love; of looking back and longing; of what it means to be a stranger, on foreign ground and known, told with the piercing familiarity and resonance we have come to expect from Helen Garner. Remarkably honest, often very funny and always woven in ways that surprise, these stories tease out everyday life to show the darkness underneath - but also the possibilities of joy.

106 pages, Paperback

First published January 6, 1981

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Helen Garner

45 books783 followers
Helen Garner was born in Geelong in 1942. She has published many works of fiction including Monkey Grip, Cosmo Cosmolino and The Children's Bach. Her fiction has won numerous awards. She is also one of Australia's most respected non-fiction writers, and received a Walkley Award for journalism in 1993.

Her most recent books are The First Stone, True Stories, My Hard Heart, The Feel of Stone and Joe Cinque's Consolation. In 2006 she won the Melbourne Prize for Literature. She lives in Melbourne.

Praise for Helen Garner's work

'Helen Garner is an extraordinarily good writer. There is not a paragraph, let alone a page, where she does not compel your attention.'
Bulletin

'She is outstanding in the accuracy of her observations, the intensity of passion...her radar-sure humour.'
Washington Post

'Garner has always had a mimic's ear for dialogue and an eye for unconscious symbolism, the clothes and gestures with which we give ourselves away.'
Peter Craven, Australian

'Helen Garner writes the best sentences in Australia.'
Ed Campion, Bulletin

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
94 (18%)
4 stars
178 (34%)
3 stars
179 (35%)
2 stars
48 (9%)
1 star
12 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
Profile Image for Ian Laird.
296 reviews56 followers
May 24, 2021
Minor edits 24 May 2021
Time is an interesting parameter when an author flashes back or sets the action in another time. When we read something is also important – is the story freshly published with lots of hype or have we come across it much later– which is the case for me here. There is also a gap between when I read the stories and drafting this review, which I acknowledge is a bad habit.

A thoughtful piece by Melissa Fagan in Meanjin helped refresh my memory about Garner's stories https://meanjin.com.au/blog/postcards.... Melissa’s regular childhood holidays in Surfers informed her critique celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of Postcards From Surfers in 1985. When I read them a couple of years ago these stories had a dated feel, but Melissa’s article softened my attitude, so I went back to the source.

I re-read my favourite story, In Paris. I laughed out loud and my wife made that noise which means please explain what was so funny. I told her this is a story of a young woman, who is probably Australian, but could be American or English, we never learn, who lives with a Frenchman, and it emerges, a couple of other people who share the house, and who will return for dinner. But there is little food in the house, only fish and Brussel sprouts. The Frenchman is in crisis because you cannot eat fish with greens (apparently). The woman (never named), continues:
‘I’m hungry, she said. ‘Where I come from, we just eat what’s there.’
‘And it’s not a secret,’ said the man, ‘that where you come from the food is barbaric.’
A bit later she says just cook what’s there:
‘What’s the matter with you? It’s only food.’…He responds: ‘Only food.’ No French person would ever say “It’s only food.”’
He remains in a paroxysm of indecision.

Reading these stories I was conscious of being in an earlier time. 1985 happens to be the year I spent four months travelling in Europe. Helen Garner was born in Geelong, a major regional city in Victoria and she travelled and lived in France and Germany, among other places. She gives us an idea of just how far away Europe is from here. She now lives in Melbourne. The stories are about growing up, moving away, moving overseas, being away from home and coming back home, or back to family. Some of the stories which particularly moved me:

Postcards from Surfers
A woman, now single, returns to the bosom of the family, except mum and dad have returned to Surfer’s Paradise, a place foreign to their daughter. She’s someone who has lived, loved and worked in the city (Melbourne) and overseas (Paris) and now she’s back in the metaphorical hearth to regret her relationship with Phillip, now well and truly over. It’s a sorting out story.

Little Helen’s Sunday afternoon
There’s an afternoon of discoveries for Little Helen on a visit to her aunt’s place: older kids having sex in the shed; uncle’s surgery slides; mothers playing dress up. What to make of it all?

La Chance Existe
This means ‘luck exists’- even in a world of transition and impermanence. A gay lad and his visiting female friend travel back to England from France. She’s followed her lover across the world. He’s looking for a man. They fall into each other’s arms – for the moment.

All these bloody young Catholics
Terrifying portrait (because it rings so horribly true) of a drinking/ rooting man who catches up with an old woman friend, Watto, who has grown up but he doesn’t catch on. He carries on about the rooting/ drinking/ spewin’ days and how great they were, especially when Watto deflowed a young Catholic boy. Some people never learn and never grow up.

A thousand miles from the Ocean
A young woman travels to Germany to be with a man, but she knows she should be going the other way. Back home.

Did He Pay?
A thin, lazy yet charismatic musician is paradoxically attractive to women. The key is his passivity. But he manages to miss every opportunity.

On the whole, serious stories of people a long way from home, wanting to come home, or already back home, but home may not be what it once was.
Profile Image for Rich Gamble.
81 reviews6 followers
September 24, 2011
A sometimes interesting, often uninspiring and particularly brief collection of short fiction. One or two of the stories were ok but mostly it was just fluff. For good Australian short fiction from the 80s read 'The Bodysurfers' by Robert Drewe instead.
Profile Image for Jo.
29 reviews
February 2, 2014
First Helen Garner I've read - short stories, kind of interesting but didn't really grab me.
Profile Image for Helen Hagemann.
Author 4 books8 followers
October 15, 2012
Review by Helen Hagemann
Postcards from Surfers
William Faulkner wrote, ‘With me, a story usually begins with a single idea or memory or mental picture. The writing is simply a matter of working up to that moment, to explain why it happened or what it caused to follow.’

This is a quote equally applied to Helen Garner. She doesn’t bog the reader down with “too much information.” There is always one central idea or single theme running through her short stories. This collection of 11 stories was published in 1985, and by then Garner had already published, Monkey Grip, Honour & other People's Children, The Children’s Bach, The Last Days of Chez Nous (a play) and a novel Cosmo Cosmolino. She was well on her way to becoming one of Australia’s best female authors.

I’ve been teaching Australian Short Fiction at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle WA, so I was very interested in one of Garner’s short story collections. We looked at the title story, Postcards from Surfers, about a woman visiting her elderly, retired parents in Surfers. It’s a story that most readers can associate with, the idea of visiting parents who have had a sea change, moved into a retirement village or who have become free of their adult children. Garner is the expert on evoking characters through dialogue, ‘Don’t tramp sand everywhere,’ says my father. (The women have been to the beach). We understand him immediately. He doesn’t think he’s old and retired. ‘You’ve missed the coronary brigade…They get out on the beach about nine in the morning’ the father says. And here Garner gets down to the nitty, gritty stuff of life. ‘Is there a shop, nearby,’ I ask my mother. ‘I have to get some tampons.’
We're delighted by the way the narrator writes postcards to a “Philip”. It’s a great narrative device that Garner uses to bring in back-story and in this case some information about the father in the story.
“Dear Philip, Once, when I was fourteen, I gave cheek to him at the dinner table. He hit me across the head with his open hand. There was silken. My little brother gave a high, hysterical giggle and I laughed too, in shock. He hit me again. After the washing up I was sent for. He was sitting in an armchair, looking down. ‘The reason why we don’t get on any more,’ he said, ‘is because we’re so much alike.’ This idea filled me with such revulsion that I turned my swollen face away. It was swollen from crying, not from the blows, whose force had been more symbolic than physical.’”

Other stories in the collection that are worthy of a read are Little Helen’s Sunday Afternoon, In Paris, The Life of Art. Did he Pay? and Last Chance Exist. I got bogged down in All Those Bloody Young Catholics. It reminded me of James Joyce’s The Dubliners, only this was Garner's long diatribe of people’s weird conversations, all in one long narrative block with none of the usual structural breaks. It’s a good idea to have a glass of water handy, when reading this story.

Overall, as one reviewer has already put it, "Garner has always had a mimic's ear for dialogue and an eye for unconscious symbolism, the clothes and gestures, with which we give ourselves away." - Peter Craven, The Australian.

Helen Hagemann © 2012

Profile Image for Hannah Louey.
86 reviews2 followers
July 14, 2014
As we’ve already established that Helen Garner is basically my homegirl, or to quote Anne of Green Gables, we’re ‘kindred spirits’ (based on the one and only occasion where I have actually conversed with her). So, while I’m not a big fan of short stories, I thought I’d give her collection of short stories, titled Postcards from Surfers, a go.

Some shorter than other, some without a narrative, some without even a character’s name, all of the stories from Postcards from Surfers deal with longing, lost and sometimes grief. Sometimes for a relationship, sometimes for a person, or even for who they once were. Each of them are poignant and somehow feel very Australian. I’m definitely making a massive generalisation here, but many Australian novels from the 20th century (at least the one’s I’ve read recently) have sparse, simple writing that manages to paint an evocative picture, despite a lack of lengthy words. Postcards from Surfers is no exception to this (completely biased and made up on the spot) rule.

What I like best about Helen Garner’s writing is that she creates characters that are flawed, yet completely realistic. Not only do they feel like they are extensions of her own person, but they are created in a way so that you feel as though they are your best friend, or even yourself. Garner encapsulates the small details that make a person, the everyday aspects that we all do that all become influential to the overall storyline.

Though Postcards from Surfers isn’t as absolutely wonderful as The Spare Room or some of her non-fiction work, it was still an enjoyable read that I finished within a couple of hours. I was absorbed by the often faceless and nameless characters in her stories, and I became immersed into the Australian scenery and way of life that feature so heavily in her stories.

As an introduction to Helen Garner, I wouldn’t recommend Postcards from Surfers, but if you’re read her other books, then you will see how this one does justice to her lovely, simplistic writing. Plus, Australia! Why not, right?
Profile Image for Amanda.
47 reviews12 followers
September 27, 2015
I am not sure why I picked this one up from the library, I mean, it is a collection of short stories! I do not enjoy short stories! Well, unless it is Margaret Atwood, and most of Haruki Murakami (exceptions are needed to prove a rule, after all). Obviously someone else had stepped into the driving seat of my brain on this particular day, and home with me this book did come.
Now, what I am not wanting you to tell people is – I liked it. Shhhh! It’s short stories, this does not happen. But I knew the characters in these stories, either from other stories (the spirit of “the friend” in The Life of Art reminded me of Nora from Tirra Lirra by the River), and I used to work with a man who I can just picture as the character from All Those Bloody Young Catholics. The argument in In Paris about whether or not you can serve fish and brussel sprouts on the same plate had me laughing because, as much as I love food and consider myself a minor foodie, the preciousness of some people when it comes to serving food can drive me nuts! (And those people would probably faint knowing that if Miss 5 wants a bowl of rice served with her baked beans on toast then that is fine by me!)
The stories here are not solely placed in Australia, but the voice is unmistakably Australian. Sometimes I did cringe at the coarseness of language (my mother brought me up too well it would seem), but the phrasing and voice is unmistakable in origin. Interestingly, I think this is particularly the case with older male characters, which really says something about older male Australians, I guess.
Although I am aware of the film for Monkey Grip, I have not read anything by Helen Garner before. After reading this collection that fact saddens me, so I guess that will mean that there will be more reviews of her work on these pages at a later date
Profile Image for Christopher Boerdam.
27 reviews3 followers
December 21, 2013
I couldn't say what these short stories were about, but who cares, Garner's style effects goose-pimples. Her prose is so sparse, and so deceptively simple - so easy to read - and then, out of nowhere, she throws in a line that floors you: For instance: 'All night I sleep in my bed, The waves roar and hiss, and slam like doors'; and '. . . we put down our glasses, we turned away, we turned to go back to the other place, we turned and went back to the other place, we went without bitterness, humbly we went away.' Garner's stories make the everyday events, like going to the newsagent to buy postcards, catching a train in a foreign country or deciding not to take your child to a concert, glow and thrum with significance and emotion. Her stories show how we are too attached to the circumstances of our lives, to the violent contingency of our desires, for our own good, and how it is the mundane, the casual, stubborn, repeatable facts of our existence that mean we matter. If that doesn't interest you, this collection of stories is worth reading just to enjoy Garner's unique style.
Profile Image for Kat.
183 reviews9 followers
January 1, 2019
I find with short stories you get more of a sense of context, as in Raymond Carver and Lucia Berlin have strong Amercian prose, the Australian-ness of Helen Garner's writing lifts off the page. There's a great piece in Postcards from Surfers which is essentially a non-stop monologue of a bloke in a pub who has just seen a mate they haven't seen in five or so years. We've all had these conversations, where everything must be discussed in an ever-fleeting time frame. There's another great one in this collection called 'The Light, The Dark' that reads like a Greek chorus about someone who left a town or a family, who changed, who decided to go for something else. Also, Garner has a great line about what it is about travel that appeals: "I hate being able to understand everything that's going on around me. I miss that feeling of your senses having to strain an inch beyond your skin that get you in places where people aren't speaking your language". True.
Profile Image for Peter Langston.
Author 6 books6 followers
April 25, 2016
A collection of short stories - postcards indeed - reflective of Australian life. I found the quality inconsistent. None were better than the title story which appears first in the collection. The writing is direct and often confrontational, no doubt in an effort to convey its contemporary nature. Perhaps I expected a thread connecting the stories or perhaps I missed it but I found this best suited as a doctor's surgery book, where one grabs a short piece whilst waiting. Don't get me wrong: some stories in the collection were excellent, it's just that the comparison between the best and worst was too great. Not for me.
Profile Image for Geena Pelka.
19 reviews
July 8, 2020
Everytime I read something of Garner's it feels like slipping into a warm bath - except when she's writing about murder. Those stories are still gripping and observant, but less warm bath. Postcards from Surfers was definitely warm bath though. Even if you hated every short story bar one, it would be completely worth it for The Life of Art.
***
"My friend cut lemons into chunks and dropped them into the water jug when there was no money for wine"
***
"'When happiness comes,' said my friend, 'it's so thick and smooth and uneventful, it's like nothing at all."
***
Reading Garner makes me feel like even my most mundane, daily occurrences may one day be of interest to someone.
Profile Image for Kevin Tole.
497 reviews21 followers
June 6, 2019
I was really thinking in two minds about this book. So I read it twice. What I wanted to read was Monkey Grip, her first novel, but every edition and second hand copy (when I could find them) were all too expensive. This came secondhand as well and has the great merit of including the novella The Children's Bach.

 
description

There was a time when half of white Australia under the age of 35 appeared to be living either in Earls Court or in camper vans on the Southbank. Those people populate these short stories. They’ve all grown up a bit now and have kids and teenagers of their own. But they still have the mentality of that travelling Aussie diaspora that appeared to be everywhere and perverted the language forever with their ‘ah yeeeahhhss’, ‘no worries’ (hawk.... spit!), ‘uni’, contrived ockerism and putting a ‘y’ on the end of everything. It was a fun time, a sybaritic time, a time for hedonistic pleasure whether in the city or the sea, here or somewhere else, easy company, no fuckin’ worries, mate, right?

So this collection of short stories, gathered together and reprinted in this edition of 1989 (first published in 1985), having been variously first published in different magazines and periodicals through the late 70’s and early 80’s, is kind of like a compendium of Helen Garner’s early writing in many ways. There is a real sensuality in all of her writing, something that you want to run your hands over the curves of, that you can touch and feel and smell, and yes, most definetly a warmth, both literally a sun warmth and a warmth in terms of the feeling within each story even when there is a dark side to a story.

The eponymous opener appears to be about a return home after years away, but it’s main theme is really about ageing and maturing, two sides to the same thing, and the subtext running through it is about what is not said. She doesn’t post the postcards that she has taken the time to write to the Parisian, we assume, lover. So there is a whole back story implied there in a few short sentences within a well-crafted and complete short story. Succinct. Edging us on. Leaving us wanting to know more, implicit.

They nearly all do that in this collection. Wanting more. Wanting the back story. Pulling the sheets off and exposing the nature of what is partially revealed.

‘The Dark, The Light' is a mere two pages long and seems to embody again that same feeling of ‘what is not said’ as in Postcards From Surfers. The undeclared 'we', such that what is said sounds like a group opinion, like gossip. What group? The group left behind? The previous attachment / significant others? The remaining appear to , undeclared and unsaid 'want', but say and front 'not need'. So there is a double edge running through this very short piece. This is a very strong little piece saying so much in so short a piece of text.

'In Paris' concerns a French man and a foreign woman in a flat or shared apartment and they together discuss everyday things – a mere three-and-a-tad pages. So much that is said implies discussion from before, of topics run over again and opens a window into cultural differences in the agent of food and cooking. A very strong short story.

’Little Helen’s Sunday Afternoon’ is a view through a child’s eyes of a situation where the child is almost a supernumerary to the parent/mother/sister particularly when the child interrupts some surreptitious goings on with an older (adolescent?) child that is meant to be / has been tasked with looking after, and contains the retribution for the intrusion. This and the next 'La Chance Existe' have less of the power of the openers but are still decent. This is another France-based story, the kind of fated romantic epic that could only happen to the young. One of the two is a sophisticate and the other appears to be an ingénue. ’Life of Art’ seems to be like a series of jotted-down paragraphs notelets remembered at the start of the morning before sitting down to get tore intae the writing for proper. It’s disconnected but ‘connected’, thread-like, but still feels a little half-baked.

’A Thousand Miles from the Ocean’. Alienation. Solitariness. Loneliness. Alone. The backpacker romance retrieved and attemptingly relit like soggy tinder on a camp fire, and is never the same as the first touch of flame to dry kindling. The other person as 'Other'. Alone in a foreign country which has no sympathy or empathy. ’Did he Pay’ is a rather nasty story of an unadorned, self-gratifying hedonist, an artist (musician as it happens but I can think of applying it across the board), self-obsessed almost without knowing it, or rather being aware of it. He (it is always the ‘he’) ends up essentially alone and apparently unconcerned (or is he?)

’Civilisation and it’s Discontents’ is about passion and it’s blindness, an affair with a married man undertaken knowingly and at the same time realising the ‘futurelessness’ of it all, whilst still undertaking it and revelling in the here-and-now burn of the passion whilst lingering doubting at the ‘futurelessness’ leaving an utter sense of insecurity and lack of fulfilment

’A Happy Story’ has a quiet poignancy which again, like so many parts within all these short stories, is felt but not exactly, you could put your finger on it, delivered on a plate. But it’s there most definitely. An older mother to a teenage daughter, and the mother’s younger sister who has more in common with and is more appropriate for the teenager, yet the mother is attached enough to buy her two tickets to the important gig knowing full well that she, the mother will not want to go, cannot go, is the wrong person to go. So it’s like a double gift. The gift of the tickets and the gift of independence saying ‘here.... take your flight and try’. There is a strong sense in the story of the mother’s self-knowledge and assurance and love for her teenage daughter. An excellent short story.

This leaves the novella of ’The Children’s Bach’ which you can find reviewed elsewhere. Its safe to say that this is the strongest piece in this cobbled together edition. These short stories are a bit of a curate's egg. Some of them have real power and fully fulfil that short storyism. Others have more of the damp squib that nearly fires but doesn't quite. All of them seem imbued with a deep sensuality. Passion is never far from the surface or lurks in the near past.

Helen Garner is an excellent writer.
435 reviews10 followers
February 24, 2013
One of the great joys in a book of short stories, is being able to pick it off the shelf and read just one brief tale to transform your perspective. Helen Garner’s Postcards from Surfers, as the title might suggest, does just that. But it doesn’t just take you out of your own little view of the world. It can also take you deeply into your world, and touch something in you invisible before, but awakened now.

The tale which really made me feel this was “Civilisation and Its Discontents”. In fourteen brief pages continents collide, earthquakes tremor and icecaps settle into another long still silence. And all this through a simple conversation between lovers.

Garner is a true master storyteller. From journalism to screenplays, short stories to epic exposes, she can be guaranteed to turn your head to some great thought through some delicate depiction of detail. It is for this mastery that I return to her now as I work on the most appropriate style for a masterwork of my own. Much to learn, as well as much simply to enjoy.
138 reviews20 followers
January 4, 2017
Picked this up because I loved Monkey Grip. Stories by themselves are so-so, but together they form an interesting catalogue of relationships which are dynamic and malleable. It gives an insight into how we treat each other, what we expect from each other and what happens when the two don't correspond.

Didn't like it so much because I think the repetitiveness of Monkey Grip was what made it so powerful - the repeated occurrences of life, the habits which the reader grew to understand, were what made the story feel real. And with Postcards, I didn't quite feel as attuned to the characters. Some were loud and forced you to make assumptions about who they are, others were reserved and felt incomplete. I guess that's a necessary caveat with reading Postcards
Profile Image for Anastasiia.
26 reviews2 followers
July 24, 2016
There were a few well-crafted and beautiful short stories in here, but the majority were a bit of a hit and miss, trying hard to be clever and interesting but unfortunately falling short. I also found that some (well, most) of the stories had graphic and controversial parts in them, but felt out of place.

The eponymous "Postcards from Surfers" story is wonderful, and something that really hit close to home. But other stories, like "Civilisation and its Discontents" didn't really do it for me.
Profile Image for Kate.
5 reviews
September 9, 2012
This is a 1986 collection of short stories and proof that Helen Garner has been brilliant forever. No one on this earth can describe human relationships like this woman can. She's the best. She could write the ingredients on a mayonnaise jar and I'd be enthralled.
May 6, 2016
Easy to read. Some stories were good; other weren't.

I'll probably read another book by her, preferably a novel. I'd like to see something with more continuity where the characters can develop beyond the glimpses in these stories.
Profile Image for duKe.
81 reviews4 followers
September 21, 2018
Impressive writing that is only hampered by the seemingly spontaneous stories. Each explores a moment in time in a life, but empathy and connection is not able to be fully realised with each of the characters and their story.
It is a nice look-through-a-keyhole compilation of short stories.
49 reviews
February 14, 2014
Every story is both distinctly Garner and distinctly unique. Helen Garner highlights the beauty in the mundane; she transforms the everyday into something to envy.
Profile Image for Heather.
158 reviews5 followers
May 25, 2014
Pretty solid collection of stories. Nice reading material for a train trip.
Profile Image for Lukewesterland.
21 reviews1 follower
October 26, 2015
A couple of really great stories, 'In Paris' jumps to mind - overall thought Garner seems to be experimenting - in character, styles of narration, structure - beyond her means.
Profile Image for Antonia Jackson.
79 reviews1 follower
November 20, 2015
Great recollections of the 80's experience of young, artistic people mainly Queensland, Melbourne and the Europe stint. No one really grows up. Easy to read and interesting short stories.
Profile Image for Jake Goretzki.
706 reviews104 followers
July 16, 2016
Decent collection - domestic, mid-life and always with a little menace below the surface. I particularly liked 'All Those Bloody Young Catholics' - superb piece of larrikin sexpest monologue.
Profile Image for Carolyne Lee.
8 reviews1 follower
April 19, 2018
I re-read this after about 25 years. Garner is one of Australia's best writers in my view.
Profile Image for Apple.
53 reviews
March 21, 2020
I am not sure why I picked this one up from the library, I mean, it is a collection of short stories! I do not enjoy short stories! Well, unless it is Margaret Atwood, and most of Haruki Murakami (exceptions are needed to prove a rule, after all). Obviously someone else had stepped into the driving seat of my brain on this particular day, and home with me this book did come.
Now, what I am not wanting you to tell people is – I liked it. Shhhh! It’s short stories, this does not happen. But I knew the characters in these stories, either from other stories (the spirit of “the friend” in The Life of Art reminded me of Nora from Tirra Lirra by the River), and I used to work with a man who I can just picture as the character from All Those Bloody Young Catholics. The argument in In Paris about whether or not you can serve fish and brussel sprouts on the same plate had me laughing because, as much as I love food and consider myself a minor foodie, the preciousness of some people when it comes to serving food can drive me nuts! (And those people would probably faint knowing that if Miss 5 wants a bowl of rice served with her baked beans on toast then that is fine by me!)
The stories here are not solely placed in Australia, but the voice is unmistakably Australian. Sometimes I did cringe at the coarseness of language (my mother brought me up too well it would seem), but the phrasing and voice is unmistakable in origin. Interestingly, I think this is particularly the case with older male characters, which really says something about older male Australians, I guess.
Although I am aware of the film for Monkey Grip, I have not read anything by Helen Garner before. After reading this collection that fact saddens me, so I guess that will mean that there will be more reviews of her work on these pages at a later date
51 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2020
She writes about Australia with a separation or self-awareness. She says “Australian” or “Melbourne”
She calls certain qualities out in a way I only hear from people who traveled. A fish doesn’t notice water, and whatnot.

The Life of Art alone was worth the entry price.
Profile Image for Bethan.
143 reviews
October 15, 2020
some of these short stories were SHORT short. anyway this inspired me to write my own short story about my life but just change some of the names!! i love you helen. i didn’t re-read the children’s bach (sorry) but i really liked in paris and civilisation and its discontents.
171 reviews
December 30, 2020
I was not keen on these stories at all. Yes some of the language was well written and some of the insights were spot on but overall these stories did not grab me. I also found some of it quite unnecessarily crude and and I am certainly not a prude. This was published in the 80's so maybe some of her later work was quite different and worth trying?
Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.