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Online In-Conversation: The Spill by Imbi Neeme with Better Read than Dead

Photo credit: © Miles Standish


Online In-Conversation: The Spill by Imbi Neeme with Better Read than Dead

Time & date

6:30pm - 7:30pm, 15th June 2020


Better Read Than Dead View map

265 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042


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The Spill by Imbi Neeme won the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize. It explores the moments - small and large - upon which our lives can pivot.

Imbi will be in-conversation with Glynis Traill-Nash. This conversation will take place on Zoom. The Zoom meeting details are included in your ticket which is emailed to you after you register for the event.

Pre-order a copy of The Spill and we'll contact you to arrange an in-store pick-up or free shipping to any address in Australia.

About the Book

In 1982, a car overturns on a remote West Australian road. Nobody is hurt, but the impact is felt for decades. For sisters Nicole and Samantha this moment will echo through their lives and continually affect their responses to individual experiences and to each other.

Inspired by a similar event in Neeme’s childhood, The Spill examines how all our memories are fictionalised to some degree. By interweaving pieces from the sisters’ past with their present day Neeme reveals the spaces that exist between events, experiences and memory.

It is through this fickleness of memory that Neeme also delves into the complex relationship between sisters. Through seemingly unconnected episodes, from significant events as well as small moments in time, scattered throughout the novel, the relationship between them is slowly revealed in all its forms; envious, joyful, protective, regretful but most of all loving.

The Spill is a captivating depiction of the bond between sisters and a family that find its way back to one another.


“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

“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. ... Imbi Neeme is a hugely talented writer with an eye for the nuances that inform relationships. ... will linger on in your mind long after you've finished the book.” - Kerri Sackville

“Imbi Neeme's prose thrums, and her characters are so deep and richly imagined that it's astounding to think The Spill is her first novel. ... I was hooked at first by the writing, but I soon found myself so invested in the characters that I didn't come up for air until I'd finished.” - J.P. Pomare

About the Author

Imbi Neeme is a recovering blogger, novelist, and compulsive short story writer. Her manuscript of The Spill was awarded the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize. She was 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.


The Spill
Winner of the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize
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