Festival Program

City Program

Helen Garner’s Reasonable Doubts

Wed 8 Sep, 8.30pm
Athenaeum Theatre

When we describe Helen Garner‘s work, we seize on its candour: she’s unflinching, unsparing, a scrutineer. But honesty is not the same as certainty. In this special event, Garner makes a long-awaited return to Melbourne Writers Festival to speak with writer and critic Beejay Silcox about the role that doubt plays in her life and work, the literary power of ambiguity, and the art of unknowing.

Supported by ARA and The Melbourne Gin Company


1 hour



Event artists

Helen Garner writes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006, she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019, she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The Children’s Bach, Cosmo Cosmolino, The Spare Room, The First Stone, This House of Grief, Everywhere I Look, Yellow Notebook and One Day I’ll Remember This.

Beejay Silcox is an Australian writer and critic whose literary criticism and cultural commentary is increasingly finding an international audience. Beejay has stories to tell. She’s been kicked in the head by a mountain gorilla and stuck in quicksand; she eloped to Las Vegas; and drove to Timbuktu in a car held together with a bra-strap.

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