In Memory of Memory
With the death of her aunt, the narrator is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of a century of life in Russia. Carefully reassembled with calm, steady hands, these shards tell the story of how a seemingly ordinary Jewish family somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century.
In dialogue with writers like Roland Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, and Osip Mandelstam, In Memory of Memory is imbued with rare intellectual curiosity and a wonderfully soft-spoken, poetic voice. Dipping into various forms--essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue, and historical documents--Stepanova assembles a vast panorama of ideas and personalities and offers an entirely new and bold exploration of cultural and personal memory.
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About the Author
Stepanova's finely crafted debut follows a woman's lifelong efforts to better understand her ancestors, Russian Jews whose stories fascinated her as a child growing up in the Soviet Union...[an] admirable cross-genre project will intrigue fans of erudite autofiction.--Publishers Weekly
Stepanova has given new life to the skaz technique of telling a story through the scrambled speech of an unreliable narrator, using manic wordplay and what one critic called 'a carnival of images.'--Los Angeles Review of Books
In Memory of Memory is a multi-faceted essay rooted in doubt on the nature of remembering.--Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung