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

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

This book is no longer available from Gatehouse Press. To buy PUSH: My Father, Polio, and Me by Sarah Passingham, please visit www.storymachines.co.uk/product/push-my-father-polio-and-me

This book is no longer available from Gatehouse Press.

To buy PUSH: My Father, Polio, and Me by Sarah Passingham, please visit www.storymachines.co.uk/product/push-my-father-polio-and-me 


'A beautiful, lion-hearted book'
Reader review

'I could not put it down'
Reader review

'A moving story that surprised me with how quickly the writer drew me into the memories, both of her father, and the memories of asking her mother about her father too. The self-reflective voice that wonders at the lives and struggles of her parents while examining their and her own memories is remarkable.'
Dr Alex Hammond - East Anglian Book Awards judge


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 tuburculosis. 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.


Published: 1st November 2019




”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. Push is 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


Sarah Passingham

Sarah 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.


Stage Show

Sarah Passingham has worked with Story Machine Productions to bring Push: My Father, Polio, and Me alive in a stage show. It features live reading alongside a wheelchair dance piece performed by polio survivor Nadenh Poan and a superb film by Walks of Life Films.