As an interviewer, my earliest and most formative experience of the journalist-subject relationship was a university assignment I did on Helen Garner.
Garner had agreed to talk to me for a political profile on the condition that the piece was not for publication. Over a four-hour lunch, we talked in depth. I was star-struck as she spoke as if to an equal about feminism, politics, her life, her work and her relationships. I wrote down her answers as fast as I could. Without a second thought, I proudly posted her a copy of what I’d written as soon as I’d finished it. I couldn’t wait for her reaction.