Serious poliomyelitis epidemics swept the world between 1938 and 1954. Australia, and Western Australia in particular, were affected.
Joan London’s beautifully written novel, The Golden Age is an account of children who had contracted poliomyelitis and their families. (Review here.) The children who populate the novel are residents in a convalescent home called the Golden Age, which actually existed in Perth in the 1950s.
Reading the novel and reviewing it for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015 prompted me to examine some of my own memories of that time in Perth. The poliomyelitis epidemics influenced many aspects of life in my home town. Everyone seemed to know someone who had contracted polio. Continue reading