This House of Grief - The Story of a Murder Trial
Helen Garner won a 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for her outstanding contribution to international literature.
'Garner's book is superbly alive to the narrative dynamics of the case; she tells a grim story of unhappy marriage, limited social opportunity, bitter divorce, and spousal grievance...what consumes her are the difficult questions that seem to lie beyond the reach of formal narration: the deepest assumptions of class and gender and power; the problem of how well we ever understand someone else's motives.'--James Wood in The New Yorker
'Grabbed me by the throat in the same way that the podcast series "Serial" did. Ms. Garner brilliantly and compassionately recounts the harrowing, real-life trial of Robert Farquharson.'--Gillian Anderson, Wall Street Journal
'As involving, heart-rending and unsettling a read as you could possibly find, a true-life account of three deaths and a trial that leaves you with a profound sense of unease as its drama unfolds, and disturbing questions about how we judge guilt and innocence. . . . Tailor-made for those who have gorged recently on the popular true-crime podcast Serial.'--The Times UK
'"The Joan Didion of Australia" writes a masterful book about a real-life family tragedy.... Her voice--intimate yet sharp, wry yet urgent--inspires trust as she pursues a twice-told tale that reveals an unsettling truth... we tell ourselves stories in order to live but also in order to take revenge, to share guilt, to prolong pain, to blur memory and motive.'--The Atlantic
'A gripping account of a murder trial in which few of the participants act and react in ways we might predict. It's an examination not just of what happened, but also of what we prefer to believe and what we cannot face believing.'--Julian Barnes
'Two books in one: an expertly reported, brilliantly written story and, woven into that, Garner's meditation on the meaning of that story.'--Head Butler
This account of the competing narratives unfolding in the courtroom during a murder trial has attracted international acclaim. First published in April 2015 it is now released in a handsome B format edition.
Helen Garner is the author of numerous books of fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent novel The Spare Room was published to critical acclaim in 2010.
Winner of Ned Kelly Awards for Australian Crime Writing: Best True Crime Category 2015. Shortlisted for Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award 2015 and Kibble Literary Award 2015 and ABIA Australian General Non-fiction Book of the Year 2015 and NSW Premier's Literary Award 2015 and Australian Independent Booksellers Indie Awards: Non-Fiction 2015. Long-listed for Stella Prize 2015.
'This House of Grief has all the trademark Helen Garner touches: harrowing scenes recorded without restraint or censorship; touching observations of characters' weaknesses; wry moments of humour. And also customary with Garner's work, her words, and the boys' fate, will haunt us long after we've turned the last page.' Guardian 'The twists and turns of this true-crime story are, in Garner's hands, more engrossing and dramatic than any thriller. Really, this is the kind of book you'll devour in one go.' Age 'This House of Grief is a magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart. It has at its centre a feeling of the engulfing powers of love and hate and the way any heart unlucky enough may kill the thing it loves and drown in an eternity of grief. If you read nothing else this year, read this story of the sorrow and pity of innocents drowned and the spectres and enigmas of guilt.' -- Peter Craven Weekend Australian 'A brilliant, poetic work of jurisprudence...Another beauty of Garner's writing is her exceptional lyricism. Garner's spare, clean style flowers into magnificent poetry.' Australian Book Review 'No one can invoke the theatre of the law the way Helen Garner does. It isn't just her acute mind for human psychology or her shimmering gift for metaphor, the masterly economy and dramatic poise with which she shaped the material.' Age/Sydney Morning Herald/Canberra Times 'This House of Grief will have your heart in your mouth.' -- Ramona Koval, Best Books of the Year Weekend Australian 'Tender and electrifying. This House of Grief is Helen Garner's masterpiece.' Saturday Paper 'In This House of Grief, Helen Garner describes with wonderful subtlety and honesty the trail of a man accused of drowning his three sons; she is fascinated by what we're capable of and how fiercely we hide it from ourselves.' -- Helen Simpson, Books of the Year Times Literary Supplement '[Garner] doesn't merely listen. She watches, imagines, second-guesses, empathises, agonises. Her voice-intimate yet sharp, wry yet urgent-inspires trust.' Atlantic 'Compassionate and dispassionate in equal measure, Helen Garner takes us into the courtroom and shows a melting-pot of venality. She writes with a profound understanding of human vulnerability, and of the subtle workings of love, memory and remorse.' Intelligent Life Magazine 'This careful record of the mind and its workings, of the strange dance we take toward truth, makes the narrative compelling and the story fresh through all the trials and retrials...The whole book feels final, elegiac - perhaps because for all the horror, it is so elegantly and calmly written.' Guardian UK