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About the book
  • Published: 2 June 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760893767
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $32.99

The Spill




Winner of the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize

In 1982, a car overturns on a remote West Australian road. Nobody is hurt, but the impact is felt for decades.

Nicole and Samantha Cooper both remember the summer day when their mother, Tina, lost control of their car – but not in quite the same way. It is only after Tina’s death, almost four decades later, that the sisters are forced to reckon with the repercussions of the crash. Nicole, after years of sabotaging her own happiness, seems finally content but still can’t get through to her sister. And Samantha is hiding something that might just tear apart the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself.

The Spill explores the cycles of love, loss and regret that can follow a family through the years – moments of joy, things left unsaid, and things misremembered. Above all, it is a deeply moving portrait of two sisters falling apart and finding a way to fit back together.

  • Pub date: 2 June 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760893767
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Imbi Neeme

Imbi Neeme is a recovering blogger, impending novelist and compulsive short story writer.

Her manuscript The Spill was awarded the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize.

She was also the recipient of the 2019 Henry Handel Richardson Fellowship at Varuna for excellence in Short Story Writing. Her short fiction has won prizes in the 2019 Newcastle Short Story Awards, the 2018 Boroondara Literary Awards, and has been shortlisted for the 2018 Peter Carey Short Story Award.

Her first manuscript, The Hidden Drawer, made the judges’ commended list in the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Awards and was selected for the 2015 Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program.

She blogged for many years at Not Drowning, Mothering, which won the 2010 Bloggies award for best Australian/New Zealand Weblog.

She lives in Melbourne with her partner, kids and largely indifferent pets.


Praise for The Spill

“Intriguing, subtle and brimful of subterranean sadness, The Spill sucked me in from the first page. A thoughtful, sensitive look at the lies we tell ourselves and the stories we tell each other, and the ways we help piece together the people closest to us.”

Jane Rawson

“Brilliantly comic and tender, this is a sharp and intimate portrayal of that most mystifying of things: family. Neeme gives us a real world; of chaotic fragments drawn with charm and compassion. These are people, like us, making lives of their messes.”

Robert Lukins

“This compelling, beautifully crafted story introduces us to a pair of sisters, and then peels back the layers of their history to reveal the complexities and contradictions at the heart of love. Reading The Spill feels like being welcomed into a new family and gradually making sense of their complicated dynamics. The sisters and their troubled mother are flawed, frustrating, and at times infuriating, yet relatable and deeply endearing. Imbi Neeme is a hugely talented writer with an eye for the nuances that inform relationships. The family and their history will linger on in your mind long after you've finished the book.”

Kerri Sackville


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