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The Memory Police
“On the island, things regularly disappear en masse. Boats. Roses. Birds. Calendars. The people of the island are expected to gather and destroy any remaining evidence of these disappearances, and with it, their memories. The narrator refers to "killing two creatures with one stone" long after the island's birds are disappeared--even the word itself is gone from her consciousness. But a small minority of people are still able to remember, and it is the job of the Memory Police to track those people down. The fragile, spare prose haunts you with many questions: Can humanity survive without memories? Without nostalgia? Without a material culture? This elegiac glimpse into the heart of authoritarianism will linger in your own memory for a long time to come.”
Rachel, The Book Table
*** 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST ***
*** LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE AND THE 2020 TRANSLATED BOOK AWARD ***
*** NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR ***
A haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and the Professor.
On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island's inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.
When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.
A surreal, provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, The Memory Police is a stunning new work from one of the most exciting contemporary authors writing in any language.
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