Storytelling – Anna Spargo-Ryan


Allison Road

In 2001 I moved back to Melbourne from Adelaide and found a room to rent in a California bungalow in Elsternwick. I went to the interview in a tight shirt with the top buttons popped open, and the three men who lived there looked me


The Edge

I live by the sea. Not close enough to see the water cresting but enough to taste it on the wind and feel it rumble beneath the earth. I stand on my verandah and feel it all the way into my bones. I live here in


The Quebecois lumberjack

Fifteen years ago, I perched in Sydney for a while, in a renovated apartment block at the top of a hill. I had a job I didn't like. It had a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour, and in the evenings I walked to Circular Quay and


House buying has gone mad!

When we first lived in Melbourne, my parents rented a terrible townhouse in Brighton. That first summer was the hottest we'd ever experienced: a week of 40+ days with broken air conditioning and shoebox rooms. My "bedroom" was little more than a closet, and as my


Free writing: brothel raid

When I was eleven I watched a brothel be raided. It was one of two brothels from my childhood. The first was a neighbour's duplex, a tiny carpeted place in which I babysat her children. She didn't fit my teenage view of sex work: she was



The only time I've been to Sunshine, I nearly bought a 1983 pea-green Commodore. I didn't even have my license, which is actually probably the best time to buy a pea-green Commodore, before you know what driving a car is supposed to feel like. My


My first boyfriend

My first boyfriend's name was Christian, and I met him on the internet. I was 14. I know this because my nick on Internet Relay Chat was Anna14. His was Chrish. I would later learn that this had something to do with the fact that


My dad’s cats

When I was but a twinkle in my father’s eye, my animal destiny was being established. I would be a hopeless devotee of the kitten mewling in the drain; I would be the freak stalking the RSPCA every weekend; I would be the girl shelling


I don’t eat things with faces

My nanna has always been a vegetarian. "I don't eat things with faces," she would say. "And anyway, it doesn't go through my digestive system properly." I became a vegetarian when I was fourteen. I don't have a particular loyalty to things with faces, but this reasoning