Helen Garner is one of Australia's most important, and some would say, most admired living writers. That admiration is inspired by a sense that she is honest, authentic and fearless in the pursuit of her craft. But Garner also courts controversy, not least because she refuses to be constrained by the rules of literary form. She appears to write so much of herself into her non-fiction, and many of her own experiences inform her fiction. But who is the 'I' in Helen Garner's work? Dr Bernadette Brennan has had access to previously unavailable papers in Garner's archive, and she provides a lively and rigorous reading of the books, journals and correspondence of one of Australia's most beloved women of letters. A Writing Life is the first full-length study of Garner's work, a literary portrait that maps Garner's writing against the different stages of her life.