This story is terrifying. I love it so much. The oppressive memory-wiping police state is soul crushing. But, despite literally having their memories taken day by day, the characters of this book don't lose themselves. Forget large, heroic displays of rebellion for a minute, because that's not what you should expect from this book. It's not a story made to focus on rebellion. It's a story made to focus on the perseverance of our humanity within an oppressive, mind-altering system. No matter what, people will hold onto their humanity. You simply cannot make everyone conform. No matter what you try to remove from them, people will always be people. Having things stripped away from us doesn't transform us into robots, it only emboldens us to show more humanity. Recommended By Jun L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
*** 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST ***
*** LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE ***
*** 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.
"Unforgettable....A masterful work of speculative fiction." Chicago Tribune
"Ogawa's fable echoes the themes of George Orwell's 1984, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, but it has a voice and power all its own." Time
"A masterpiece....A novel that makes us see differently....It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision." The Guardian
About the Author
Yoko Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope: All-Story. Her works include The Diving Pool, a collection of three novellas; The Housekeeper and the Professor; Hotel Iris; and Revenge. She lives in Hyogo.