Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"We want you to be cool, and silent, like a real cocktail waiter."

I read my first Helen Garner book this month, This House of Grief. How embarrassing to have spent so many years thinking of myself as A Big Reader and never having read a word of Garner. I am, truly, a boob.

Now, as is often the way with these things, Garner seems to be everywhere because she has a new book of essays out. Financial constraints mean I won't be rushing out to buy it (I'm sorry, Helen) but I will be putting down my name at the library. In the not-too-distant future I hope and trust to have it in my hot little hands.

Meanwhile, I (and you) can enjoy Garner's so good essay on ageing over at The Monthly for nothing. Seriously, if this doesn't make you want to read more of her work she's probably not for you. Also you may be a lunk:
The insults of age had been piling up for so long that I was almost numb to them. The husband (when I still had one): “You’re not going out in that sleeveless top?” The grandchild: “Nanna, why are your teeth grey?” The pretty young publisher tottering along in her stilettos: “Are you right on these stairs, Helen?” The flight attendant at the boarding gate: “And when you do reach your seat, madam, remember to stow that little backpack riiiight under the seat in front of you!” The grinning red-faced bloke who mutters to the young man taking the seat beside me: “Bad luck, mate.” The armed child behind the police station counter unable to conceal her boredom as I describe the man in a balaclava, brandishing a baton, who leapt roaring out of the dark near the station underpass and chased me and my friend all the way home: “And what were you scared of? Did you think he might hit you with his umbrella?”

No comments: