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In the autumn of 1992, two young women students at Melbourne University went to the police claiming that they had been indecently assaulted at a party. The man they accused was the head of their co-ed residential college.
The controversial book that Helen Garner wrote about the resulting Ormond College sexual harassment case caused a social media storm. Prominent feminists were outraged at Garner's perceived support for the man involved, but many saw her approach a necessary and much welcome nuance towards the power dynamic between men and women. Either way, The First Stone sparked a raging debate about sexual harassment in Australia, making it easy to see why even now, 25 years on, the book is no less sharp, no less relevant and no less divisive.
This edition, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of release, contains a foreword by Leigh Sales and an afterword by Garner's biographer, Bernadette Brennan. It also reprints David Leser's original 1995 Good Weekend interview with Helen Garner, and her own 1995 address 'The Fate of the First Stone'.