The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa


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The Memory Police

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
English | 2019 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 2.4 Mb

The Memory Police : 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 wiring 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.

“My mother would talk like this only when we were in her studio in the basement. It was a large, dusty, rough-floored room, built so close to the river on the north side that you could clearly hear the sound of the current. I would sit on the little stool that was reserved for my use, as my mother, a sculptor, sharpened a chisel or polished a stone with her file and talked on in her quiet voice.

“The island is stirred up after a disappearance. People gather in little groups out in the street to talk about their memories of the thing that’s been lost. There are regrets and a certain sadness, and we try to comfort one another. If it’s a physical object that has been disappeared, we gather the remnants up to burn, or bury, or toss into the river. But no one makes much of a fuss, and it’s over in a few days. Soon enough, things are back to normal, as though nothing has happened, and no one can even recall what it was that disappeared.”

Then she would interrupt her work to lead me back behind the staircase to an old cabinet with rows of small drawers.

“Go ahead, open any one you like.”

I would think about my choice for a moment, studying the rusted oval handles.

I always hesitated, because I knew what sorts of strange and fascinating things were inside. Here in this secret place, my mother kept hidden many of the things that had been disappeared from the island in the past.

When at last I made my choice and opened a drawer, she would smile and place the contents on my outstretched palm.”


Seth

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