Australian author, Helen Garner’s writing career emerged alongside the development of the “women’s movement”. During the social liberation movement of the 1960’s women openly campaigned for equal pay , equal work , civil rights defining the protection from violation and sexual harassment , removing the stigma of barrier from women into ‘men only‘ professional disciplines and their cultural and social arenas . There was equal commitment and contest to educational discrimination and equal financial rights. Much that was gained from the International Suffragette Movement at the turn of the Century found greater relevance in aims and methods employed by the Australian Women's Liberation Movement by raising awareness through lobbying, political pressure, public lectures, propaganda and protest.
Helen Garner’s seminal work is a concentrated focus on these concerns. Written in the first person, Garner’s short story 'The life of Art' is narrated by a woman and follows the journey , psychological and personal , not only that of her own self discovery and ultimate redemption - but also that of her close friend known “for twenty years”. Garner’s recollection sympathetically connects a set of life circumstances and past events. The intuitive perceptions and emotional intelligence of the two women are seminal to the human relationships they forged , particularly with the men in their lives , defined by what their common desires and personal needs. Set within the deconstructive processes that redefined gender terminology as well as the popular consensus about appropriate and inappropriate social behaviour and conventions. Intellectual debate forms part of the Women’s movement since the 1960‘s providing insightful vignettes and anecdotes that focus on an individual’s perspective and inflexion ( grief management , self awareness , social & professional status, personal and financial independence , fidelity and
The narrator conveys details directly...