I’ve always enjoyed reading Helen Garner’s works, from the very beginning when my girlfriend Julie gave me the first novel by this gifted writer, Monkey Grip.
Admittedly, her reputation as a crusader or rebel grew with The First Stone, one of her more polemical works. In this work, she leant support to a master at a Melbourne university college, who in 1995 was accused of sexual misconduct towards two female residents. Radical feminists were appalled by her stance.
The main reason for her support, I gathered, was her compassion for the master and his family, over what she saw as a minor incident that could have been handled differently. Instead, he and his family had to suffer the ignominy of his sacking and public disgrace.
It showed up a dichotomy between older and younger feminists.