The Memory Pool
by Therese Spruhan
Out November 1, 2019
Published by NewSouth
'A joyful, moving, nostalgic and original take at what it means to be Australian. Dive in!' — Robert Drewe
'Crisscrossing the nation, spanning generations and histories, these stories celebrate the joy and freedom of being a body in water. Read it while beside your favourite beach or pool, or read it and be transported there.' — Bernadette Brennan
'These immersive stories remind us that the swimming pool is not just the place we first learn to sink or swim. It’s a space of respite and renewal, playtime and pilgrimage, limerence and liminality, community and connection. Dive in – go on - I double dare you.' — Sian Prior
'I didn’t go to church as a kid but that was my church – that was my sacred space – a pilgrimage to Sandgate swimming pool.' — Trent Dalton
Smell the chlorine, taste the hot chips and feel the burning concrete underfoot as you read these stories of Australian childhoods at the pool.
Swimming is a central part of most Australian childhoods. We idealise beaches and surf, but for many kids the local pool – whether it’s an ocean, tidal or a chlorinated pool – is where they pass summer days. Pools are places of imagination, daring, belonging, freedom, friendship and romance. For some they are places of hard-core swimming training.
This delightful, nostalgic anthology brings together reflections and recollections about the swimming pools of childhood from a range of Australians of diverse ages and backgrounds, well known and not-so-famous, including Trent Dalton, Leah Purcell, Shane Gould, Bryan Brown and Merrick Watts.
Evocative, funny and sometimes bittersweet, 28 people remember the pools that shaped their childhoods. Everyone who has ever dived into their local Olympic pool, bush waterhole or saltwater baths will want to submerge themselves in this beautiful book.
Therese Spruhan is a Sydney-based swimmer, writer and photographer with a passion for telling stories and capturing images of Australia’s pools.
Interview: ABC TV's Weekend Breakfast program with Johanna Nicholson & Fauziah Ibrahim 12 January 2020
Extract: Booktopia blog, 21 November 2019
Interview: ABC Radio 702 Breakfast program with Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck, 20 November 2019
Recommendation: Weekend Reading, HappyMag, November 2019
Radio Interview: Myf Warhurst’s show on ABC Radio 702, 19 September 2019
Everyone who has ever dived into their local Olympic pool, bush waterhole or saltwater baths will want to submerge themselves in this beautiful book.
Available at your local independent bookstore or from these online retailers: