Lisa Curry is writing her memoir that will delve deep into her life as a swimming superstar, her life with Grant Kenny, and more.
Exclusive: Sporting icon Lisa Curry is writing her memoir, in what promises to be a raw and unvarnished look at the life of one of Australia’s greatest swimmers and most interesting and enduring public figures.
The book, Lisa: 60 Years of Life, Love & Loss, will be published in May to coincide with Curry’s 60th birthday.
It will delve deep into Curry’s life as a swimming superstar, her life with Ironman Grant Kenny, and explore the intense media interest in her life which has endured for more than 40 years.
It covers her ground-breaking journey as a young mother swimming to Commonwealth gold, her frustration at never quite making it onto the Olympic dais, her complex relationship with her father, and her life as a wellness entrepreneur and public figure.
The memoir will also address the illness and tragic death of Curry’s daughter Jaimi at the age of just 33 in September 2020.
The autobiography will be published by HarperCollins Australia, the company which published Curry’s health and fitness books in the ‘90s. HarperCollins is owned by News Corp Australia, publisher of (this newspaper, website).
“As a motivational speaker for 40 years, I’ve been talking about myself for a long time, but that was only part of the story,’’ Curry said.
“I was approached to write a book at 50 but didn’t feel I’d done enough. Ten years on, I’ve learned a few things along the way I’d love to share with readers.
“I have lived a pretty big life, with a lot of love, and some very heavy losses. This book is both my story and my survival guide for others.
“Lisa: 60 Years of Love, Life & Loss is a way for me to tell my own story – in my own words, in my own way, and in my own time.’’
Curry will share the life lessons she’s learned over the years, from training for the Olympics, to having a positive body-image, surviving the trolls, and taking care of your own health and mental well-being.
She has spent the past six months researching her history, examining old swimming and training records, media reports and diary entries, a process she’s found frustrating, exhilarating and heart-breaking in equal measures.
While she had been interested in potentially writing a memoir, and had sketched out a rough draft some years ago, she was initially overwhelmed with grief after losing Jaimi, and couldn’t continue with it, knowing she would have to re-visit memories that were too raw and painful.
“But with a bit of prompting, a few false starts, and a lot of empathy and support from everyone at HarperCollins, I’ve been able to do it,’’ she said.
HarperCollins head of Australian non-fiction Helen Littleton said she was proud to be able to publish Curry’s memoir.
“At sixty (next year), Lisa has an important story to tell that is both a glittering sporting story of endurance and a woman’s story of enduring,’’ Littleton said.
“So many of us grew up cheering for Lisa. I know her story of being Lisa will have readers cheering for her again.’’
News Corp’s award-winning journalist and writer Ellen Whinnett is working on the book with Curry, and said the memoir contained details and stories of Curry’s life which had never been made public.
“People might feel like they know a lot about Lisa, but they’ve never seen her like this – raw, honest and opening up on some of her greatest highs and most devastating lows,’’ Whinnett said.
“Forget Lisa the brand, this is Lisa the person.
“Her story is inspiring, confronting, often very funny, and at times absolutely heart-breaking”.
‘Lisa: 60 Years of Life, Love & Loss by Lisa Curry with Ellen Whinnett is published by HarperCollins and is available for pre-order from Booktopia now.