Review: Yellow Notebook by Helen Garner

As many readers would already be aware through some of her previous works, beloved Australian author Helen Garner often kept a diary. For the first time, the content of some of those diaries has been published. Yellow Notebook features extracts from her diaries covering the years 1978 to 1987.

Initially when I heard about this I was a little cynical. Was Garner trying to play at being Anais Nin? Fortunately not. Yellow Notebook is very much all her own, an eclectic mix of thoughts of the authors thoughts and experiences and carefully edited so not to invade the privacy of others. 

There is little I can offer of critique of this one--how can anyone critique a diary after all--though every entry was beautifully and lovingly written. The author's deep level of empathy shows on every page, regardless of whether she is describing mundane day to day activities, tragic stories that she has seen or heard on the news or various activities in her own life.


Note: I wrote the original review in late 2019, but for one reason or another it did not post, which is slightly embarrassing, given that the date can be seen in the photograph above.


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