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The Memory Pool: Australian Stories of Summer, Sun and Swimming

Therese Spruhan

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New South Books
01 November 2019
Biography; Literary essays
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, almost 30 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.

`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, lap swimmer and author of `Shy: a memoir' (Text Publishing).

`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 'A joyful, moving, nostalgic and original take at what it means to be Australian. Dive in!' - Robert Drewe 'The Memory Pool is a joyful dive into that paradise of Australian childhood, the local swimming pool. In a series of beautifully recalled stories by well-known Australians, it evokes both the sensory bliss of forgetting self in the sights, smells and feel of the swimming pool, and the communal warmth of sharing long summer days simply hanging about at the pool with family and friends. It's a book for anyone who remembers the sting of chorine or salt in eyes, the silky feel of water slipping over limbs, and the feel of hot cement under a wet cossie.' - Patti Miller

By:   Therese Spruhan
Imprint:   New South Books
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781742236582
ISBN 10:   1742236588
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   01 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Therese Spruhan is a Sydney-based photographer, journalist, freelance writer and swimmer who blogs about pools and swimming. Her own experience of swimming at Northbridge Baths in Sydney led her to wonder about the way childhood swimming shapes our views of the world as adults.

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