Inner-suburban Melbourne in the 1970s: a world of communal living, drugs, music and love - Garner captures the fluid relationships of a community of friends.
Helen Garner’s gritty, lyrical first novel divided the critics on its publication in 1977. Today, Monkey Grip is regarded as a masterpiece - the novel that shines a light on a time and a place and a way of living never before presented in Australian literature: communal households, music, friendships, children, love, drugs and sex.
When Nora falls in love with Javo, she is caught in the web of his addiction; and as he moves between loving her and leaving, between his need for her and promises broken, Nora’s life becomes an intense dance of loving and trying to let go.
"This is the power of Garner’s writing. She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life." (The Australian)