Helen Garner (née Ford, born 7 November 1942) is an Australian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Garner's first novel, Monkey Grip, published in 1977, immediately established her as an original voice on the Australian literary scene–it is now widely considered a classic. She has a reputation for incorporating and adapting her personal experiences in her fiction, something that has brought her widespread attention, particularly with her novels, Monkey Grip and The Spare Room (2008).
Throughout her career, Garner has written both fiction and non-fiction. She attracted controversy with her book The First Stone (1995) about a sexual-harassment scandal in a university college. She has also written for film and theatre, and has consistently won awards for her work, including the Walkley Award for a 1993 Time Magazine report. Adaptations of two of her works have appeared as feature films: her debut novel Monkey Grip and her true-crime book Joe Cinque's Consolation (2004) – the former released in 1982 and the latter in 2016.
Garner's works have covered a broad range of themes and subject matter. She has thrice written true-crime books: first with The First Stone, about the aftermath of a sexual-harassment scandal at a university, followed by Joe Cinque's Consolation, a journalistic novel about the court proceedings involving a young man who died at the hands of his girlfriend, which won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Book, and again in 2014 with This House of Grief, about Robert Farquharson, a man who drove his children into a dam. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) site has characterised her as one of Australia's "most important and admired writers", while The Guardian referred to her as "Australia's greatest living writer".