Read at The Nation
Helen Garner's early writing was fueled by her experiences in communal living and caregiving, which became the central themes of her work. Her debut novel, Monkey Grip, depicted the life of a young mother living in a Melbourne sharehouse. Garner's fascination with the complexities of relationships and obligations in flux continued to be explored in her subsequent novels and other writings. The Children's Bach, her second and most acclaimed novel, delves into the challenges of family life as it unravels under the weight of unrealized promises and shifting dynamics.
The tasks were divvied up equally. In the summertime, they would bundle up their towels and goggles and bike to the local pool. Under these communal arrangements...