Push: My Father, Polio, and Me


SKU: 9781912665020 Category: Tags: , , ,


Push: My Father, Polio, and Me by Sarah Passingham

In 1952 three things happened to Push Pulman: he narrowly missed out on qualifying to row in the Olympics; he married Diana; and six weeks later he contracted polio.

His life was changed forever.

This is his story. Push the athlete paralysed by polio and tuberculosis. Push the engineer who believed in finding a solution whatever the problem. Push the family man whose strength of character was matched only by his incredible physical strength.

Push: My Father, Polio, and Me is an intimate, powerful memoir by Push’s daughter, exploring the devastation polio wreaked upon generations up until the 1950s. Sarah Passingham entwines the events that befell her parents before she was born, with memories of her father. She is a master storyteller, bringing scenes alive in vivid detail.

And through it all, we are reminded of the success of modern medicine in liberating us from polio, and other life-changing diseases.



‘A beautiful, lion-hearted book’
Reader review

‘I could not put it down’
Reader review

‘Push Pulman was a remarkably determined man who defied everyone not to treat him normally. This engrossing book tells his story with wit and power.’
Tom Shakespeare

‘This well-researched and endearingly personal book is a timely reminder of the importance of vaccination.Pushis a celebration of the skill and determination disabled people have to offer. Sarah’s pride and appreciation in growing up with a disabled parent shines through.’
Dr Hannah S. Barham Brown

Shortlisted at the East Anglian Book Awards non-fiction book of the year. 


Book Details

ISBN: 9781912665020
Published by: Gatehouse Press
1st November 2019
Format: Hardback

About the author

Sarah Passingham

Author Sarah Passingham signs copies of PushSarah Passingham lives with her husband within the watery landscape of the Norfolk Broads. She is author of Hoad and Other Stories (2014) and has published three books of non-fiction and an oratorio libretto. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in journals including: The London Magazine, Stand Magazine, Fenland Reed and broadcast by the BBC. She is a columnist for Brittle Star magazine. Sarah is a trustee of the SAW Trust, an organisation dedicated to the interdisciplinary approach to Science, Art and Writing.




Push Brought to Life

Our stage show Push: My Father, Polio, and Me brings Sarah Passingham’s book to life. It features live reading alongside a wheelchair dance piece performed by polio survivor Nadenh Poan and a superb film by Walks of Life Films.

For upcoming live dates of this show, see our What’s On page.

Additional information

Weight 0.65 kg
Dimensions 16 × 2 × 24 cm


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