Helen Garner (born 1942) Australian novelist, journalist and writer.
- 'He claims,' said Jenny tactfully, 'That he flew through a radioactive cloud thirty years ago and that it didn't do him any harm - thus it's all right to mine uranium. A fine piece of Australian political reasoning.'
- Page 6.
- 'What's funny?' said Pin, shifting uncomfortably in the hospital bed.
- 'I was looking at your mouth. It's exactly the same as mine.'
- 'Small and mean,' said Pin, whose devotion to the church did not damp her vulgar sense of humour. 'Wanna see a cat's bum?' She pursed her lips into a tight bunch. They snickered in the quiet ward.
- 'You'll never go to heaven,' said Kathleen. 'You're rude.'
- Page 21.
- 'Didn't this used to be our dining-room table back at Sutherland Street, Frank?' said Kathleen.
- 'Yep. Four dollars at the Anchorage, remember? That was when I cornered the market in cane chairs, too.'
- 'Come off it! We only had three.'
- 'Yes, but the price had doubled by the following Saturday.'
- Page 26.
Other Peoples Children (1980)
- Revolution begins in the kitchen.
- 'In my profession I have learned that women can bear more pain than men.'
- 'Are you a doctor, sir?'
- 'No. A shoe repairer.'
- Page 123.
The Children's Bach (1984)
- 'Course I care. I always care. But there's no point in making a song and dance about it, like that night he stayed here. Know something? There's only one thing that'll bring 'em back, and that's indifference. The one thing you can't fake.'
- 'But you are faking it.'
- 'At the moment I might be. But as soon as it stops being faked and starts being real, he'll turn up. Rule number one of modern life.'
- Page 80.
Postcards from Surfers (1985)
A volume of short stories.
- Her handwriting in these pencilled jottings, made forty-five years ago, is exactly as it is today: this makes me suspect, when I am not with her, that she is a closet intellectual.
- In the title story Postcards from Surfers.
- Garner describing her mother.
Cosmo Cosmolino (1992)
A collection of three linked stories, Recording Angel, A Vigil, and Cosmo Cosmolino.
Recording Angel part:
- 'That,' I said, 'would be a blessing. There are so many things I'd like to forget I hardly know what would be left standing, if I ever got started.'
- Page 4.
- On Melbourne summer mornings the green trams go rolling in stately progress down tunnels thick with leaves: the bright air carries along the avenue their patient chime, the chattering of their wheels
- Page 5.
- 'It's rather like a Poe story, isn't it,' said Patrick luxuriously, unfocusing his eyes. 'A person sees the chance of a better life passing by, and he makes as if to call out' - he flung one arm in the imploring gesture of a soul in torment - 'but something in his nature makes him hesitate. He pauses ... he closes his lips ... he steps back ... and then he slides down, and down, and down.'
- Page 8.
- And always Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne, over and over the same photo in glaring greens and reds, of a tram, huffy, blunderous, manoeuvring itself with pole akimbo round the tight corner where Bourke Street enters Spring.
- Page 14, postcards the narrator sent.
Cosmo Cosmolino section:
- Ideas came swarming through her, and like many people who labour in the obsession of solitude, she lacked the detachment to challenge them.
- Page 57, describing Maxine.
- 'Crap,' said Janet. 'He was a whinger and he wrote it down. That's not poetry.'
- Page 78.
- 'The devil's everywhere,' he said. 'Not just at Brunswick one day and somewhere else the next. He's everywhere.'
- Page 101.
- The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.
- Page 150.
- Out in deep space the planets sweep, inexorable, along their splendid orbits. Maxine bowed her head. From now on she would take the gods' dictation.
- Page 166.
- Our minds are not hopeful, thought Janet; but our nerves are made of optimistic stuff.
- Page 221.