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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Memory

by

Memory Cover

ISBN13: 9781416559993
ISBN10: 141655999x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Twenty years after his mother and father jumped to their deaths from a balcony, Philippe Grimbert has written a gripping novel about the hidden memories that dominated their lives.

A colossal bestseller in Europe, Memory is the story of a family haunted by the secret of their past: an illicit love affair, a lost child, and a devastating betrayal dating back to the Second World War.

The day after my fifteenth birthday, I finally learned what I had always known....

Growing up in postwar Paris as the sickly only child of glamorous athletic parents, the narrator invents for himself a make-believe older brother, stronger and more brilliant than he can ever be. It is only when the boy begins talking to an old family friend that he comes to realize that his imaginary sibling had a real predecessor: a half brother whose death in the concentration camps is part of a buried family secret that he was intended never to uncover.

A spare, erotic, and ultimately cathartic narrative, Memory is a mesmerizing tale of coming to terms with one's shameful past through the unraveling of a series of dark desires.

Review:

"In this slim, bleak second novel, French psychoanalyst Grimbert fictionalizes his wrenching family history, hidden for much of his youth. Born a sickly child in post-WWII Paris, Grimbert's narrator, 'Philippe Grimbert,' develops an obsessive fascination with the lithe, muscular bodies and athletic prowess of his beautiful parents. His fantasy life extends to an imaginary brother who at first offers comfort and protection, but soon becomes a way for the young narrator to vent his frustration with his own weakness and pallor. At 15, a violent altercation with a schoolroom bully over a lesson on Holocaust victims results in the revelation of his origins: Grimbert, the narrator's family's name, was once Grinberg, and the story of his parents' romantic retreat to the country during the war is shattered by a heartbreaking story of betrayal and sacrifice in occupied France. For Grimbert, the aftermath of WWII forced survivors into prisons of their own memories and denial, 'bound together by an impossible grief.' The story is powerful and gripping, but the juxtaposition between young Philippe's fantasy life and adult wartime realities is underdeveloped. Readers will share in the catharsis of Grimbert's revelations, but may feel a lingering emptiness once his family's secrets have been fully purged." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Philippe Grimbert is a psychoanalyst. He is the author of several works of nonfiction and a novel, Paul's Little Dress. Memory was awarded two of France's most prestigious literary prizes, voted for by readers — the Prix des Lectrices d'Elle and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens — as well as the Prix Wizo, for the best work of Jewish interest in French literature. He lives in Paris.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Larry Robinson, December 23, 2008 (view all comments by Larry Robinson)
A powerful, fictional memoir of a young boy's discovery about his family's hidden past in World War II Paris. A slim but powerful book.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Martha J., August 11, 2008 (view all comments by Martha J.)
Memory presents the Holocaust from the prespective of Jews who safely made it to unoccupied France, in the processing providing both a coming of age story and a love story. The author is a psychiatrist who succeeds in portraying the emotional life of the characters in such a believable manner that you believe you are reading biography not fiction. The novel is short and sparse - no extra baggage, every sentence matters. Highly recommended.
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posthumouse, July 11, 2008 (view all comments by posthumouse)
A stunning memoir by the author about his parents who are Holocaust survivors. We are given the somewhat romanticised version from his own boyhood memories then slowly the real story emerges.Powerful and well-written.Winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Wizo(Jewish Interest).
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416559993
Author:
Grimbert, Philippe
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Translator:
McLean, Polly
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2008
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
152
Dimensions:
7 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Memory Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 152 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416559993 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this slim, bleak second novel, French psychoanalyst Grimbert fictionalizes his wrenching family history, hidden for much of his youth. Born a sickly child in post-WWII Paris, Grimbert's narrator, 'Philippe Grimbert,' develops an obsessive fascination with the lithe, muscular bodies and athletic prowess of his beautiful parents. His fantasy life extends to an imaginary brother who at first offers comfort and protection, but soon becomes a way for the young narrator to vent his frustration with his own weakness and pallor. At 15, a violent altercation with a schoolroom bully over a lesson on Holocaust victims results in the revelation of his origins: Grimbert, the narrator's family's name, was once Grinberg, and the story of his parents' romantic retreat to the country during the war is shattered by a heartbreaking story of betrayal and sacrifice in occupied France. For Grimbert, the aftermath of WWII forced survivors into prisons of their own memories and denial, 'bound together by an impossible grief.' The story is powerful and gripping, but the juxtaposition between young Philippe's fantasy life and adult wartime realities is underdeveloped. Readers will share in the catharsis of Grimbert's revelations, but may feel a lingering emptiness once his family's secrets have been fully purged." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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