Yoko Ogawa: The Memory Police

In Yoko Ogawa’s dark, dystopian island, objects disappeared one by one and having memory was a crime. Anyone who had any memory would be interrogated and arrested by the Memory Police and no one knew where they took them. Anything that brought memory must be destroyed. Books were burned. Calendars were vanished. Eventually anything that had form must be gone. It’s a remarkably bleak and chilling read. I often have a difficult time following a work of nonfiction, but I could read this book the whole way through without being lost thanks to Ogawa’s superb storytelling and Stephen Snyder’s outstanding translation. Like the only survival in the book, the story will remain in my memory for a long time.

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