Mar 22, 2018

Interviewing Helen Garner made me question the journalistic process

The author of Skin in the Game explains the slightly awkward process of learning how to interview Australia's best known true crime writer.

Sonya Voumard

Writer and journalist

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Garner had agreed to talk to me for a political profile on the condition that the piece was not for publication.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.

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