In a State of Memory is a novelistic memoir about exile, displacement, and return. Tununa Mercado explores the psychological and physical effects of the narrator's transition into a life in exile: the splintering of her identity, the difficulties of incorporating herself into a host culture, her physical illness, and the haunting memories of her past and the loved ones she left behind. In exile the narrator is constantly confronted with the vicariousness of her experiences-she wears secondhand clothes, buys secondhand furniture, and experiences other people's lives at second hand. After periods of exile in France and Mexico, she returns to Buenos Aires and finds it difficult to recognize the city, to attach memories to particular places. Through flashbacks, recollections, and short narratives, this story powerfully communicates an individual's experience of exile from an emotional and psychological perspective while at the same time linking the individual experience to the collective one. A well-known writer throughout Latin America and beyond, Tununa Mercado is a champion of literary style.
Cautious, precise, and attentive to the rhythms of prose, her measured style is her hallmark. She lives in Buenos Aires. In a State of Memory is the first book-length English translation of Mercado's work. Peter Kahn is an English teacher and translator who lives in Buenos Aires.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press