The Memory Police (Paperback)Yoko Ogawa (author), Stephen Snyder (translator)
A nuanced meditation on the loss of identity and the transience of the self, Ogawa’s dystopian fable presents a future society where memory is malleable and recollection can vanish in an instant.
Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020
An enthralling Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance from one of Japan's greatest writers.
Hat, ribbon, bird rose.
To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.
When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn't forget, and it's becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 202 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm
'The Memory Police is a masterpiece: a deep pool that can be experienced as fable or allegory, warning and illumination. It is a novel that makes us see differently, opening up its ideas in inconspicuous ways, knowing that all moments of understanding and grace are fleeting. It is political and human, it makes no promises. It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision' - Madeleine Thien, Guardian
'It's an age since I read a book as strange, beautiful and affecting... this haunting work reaches beyond...to examine what it is to be human... a remarkable writer' - Sunday Times
'Masterly...Like Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad and Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, Yoko Ogawa's novel transforms a familiar metaphor into imaginative truth.' - Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
'In a feat of dark imagination, Yoko Ogawa stages an intimate, suspenseful drama of courage and endurance while conjuring up a world that is at once recognizable and profoundly strange' - Wall Street Journal
'Explores questions of power, trauma and state surveillance...particularly resonant now, at a time of rising authoritarianism across the globe.' - New York Times, pick of the month
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“A Kafkaesque Dystopian Nightmare”
A Kafkaesque dystopian nightmare, where the very things of everyday life systematically disappear- ribbons, bells, hats, emeralds, stamps, perfume, birds, roses, photographs, fruit, calendars, music boxes, novels and... More
There have always been disappearances on the island, objects come and go, people disappear, concepts vanish in a single night. But when this process starts to speed up – what else do the Memory Police want forgotten?... More
“Thought provoking and a recommended read.”
I really enjoyed this book.
A vision into a state under extreme control by the Memory Police where gradually things disappear from the memories of the world, for example, no memory of ferries means no-one can escape... More
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