Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Garner came to prominence at a time when Australian writers were relatively few in number, and Australian women writers were themselves something of a novelty. Her first book, Monkey Grip (1977), relates the lives of a group of welfare recipients living in student-style accommodation in Melbourne. Years later she stated that she had adapted it directly from her personal diaries.
In subsequent books, she has continued to adapt her personal experiences. Her later novels were: Moving Out (1983), The Children's Bach (1984) and Cosmo Cosmolino (1992). She has also published several short story collections: Honor & Other People's Children: two stories (1980), Postcards from Surfers (1985) and My Hard Heart: Selected Fictions (1998). She is also the author of three screenplays: Monkey Grip (1982), written with and directed by Ken Cameron ; Two Friends (1986), directed by Jane Campion for TV; and The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992), directed by Gillian Armstrong.
Garner wrote non-fiction since the beginning of her career as a writer: in 1972 she was fired from her teaching job after publishing in The Digger, a counter-culture magazine, an anonymous account of frank and extended discussions she had with her students about sexuality and sexual activities. In 1993, she won a Walkley Award for her TIME magazine account of a murder trial following the death of a toddler at the hands of his step-father.
Her most famous book is The First Stone (1995), an account of a 1992 sexual harassment scandal at Ormond College. This book was a best-seller in Australia, but also attracted considerable criticism. Garner's other non-fiction books are: La Mama, the Story of a Theatre (1988), True Stories: Selected Non-Fiction (1996), The Feel of Steel (2001) and Joe Cinque's Consolaton (2004).
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