Illustration by Quibe

The Spare Room (feature)

Based on the novel by acclaimed Australian author, Helen Garner, The Spare Room tells the intensely personal story of Helen and Nicola; a friendship forged through the nostalgic recollections of lost youth and the pervasive presence of the ‘emperor of all maladies’ [sic].

“In the end, it's not about Nicola. She maddens us, as she maddens her friends. Illness and death place heavy burdens on the living, and The Spare Room examines how we deal with those burdens. If Nicola, through fanciful positivity, can construct a world in which cancer is put to flight by cabbage juice, Helen's reality is equally subjective; she must beware being kept awake beyond 2am, "the hour at which the drought, the refugee camps, the dying planet, and all the faults and meannesses of my character would arrive to haunt me". While we breathe, we create the universe. It is a fiction. But, as Helen Garner shows, it feels so intensely like truth.” [Courtesy of Michel Faber, The Guardian]