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An extraordinary work of fiction from one of Australia's best-selling and most admired writers First, in my spare room, I swivelled the bed on to a rth-south axis. Isn't that supposed to align the sleeper with the planet's positive energy flow, or something? She would think so. I made it up nicely with a fresh fitted sheet, the pale pink one, since she had a famous feel for colour, and pink is flattering even to skin that has turned yellowish. Helen prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola, who is flying down from Sydney for a three-week visit. But this is ordinary visit - Nicola has advanced cancer. She is coming to Melbourne to receive treatment she believes will cure her. From the moment Nicola steps off the plane, Helen becomes her nurse, her protector, her guardian angel and her stony judge. The Spare Room tells a story of compassion and rage as the two women - one sceptical, one stubbornly serene - negotiate their way through Nicola's gruelling treatments. Garner's dialogue is pitch perfect, her sense of pacing flawless as this vel draws to its terrible and transcendent finale.
Helen Garner was born in Geelong in 1942, and has been writing and publishing since her first book, Monkey Grip, came out in 1977.
Winner of Barbara Jefferis Award 2009 and Queensland Premier's Literary Awards: Best Fiction Book 2008 and Victorian Premier's Literary Award - Victorian Premier's Prize for Fiction 2008. Short-listed for Australian Literature Society Gold Medal 2009 and NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2009.