Memory Wall

Memory Wall


Book - 2010
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From an award-winning and extraordinarily eloquent author whose "prose dazzles" ( The New York Times Book Review ) comes a second stunning collection.

Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr's new stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world.

In the luminous and beautiful title story, a young boy in South Africa comes to possess an old woman's secret, a piece of the past with the power to redeem a life. In "The River Nemunas," a teenage orphan moves from Kansas to Lithuania to live with her grandfather, and discovers a world in which myth becomes real. "Village 113," winner of an O'Henry Prize, is about the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the seed keeper who guards the history of a village soon to be submerged. And in "Afterworld," the radiant, cathartic final story, a woman who escaped the Holocaust is haunted by visions of her childhood friends in Germany, yet finds solace in the tender ministrations of her grandson.

Every story in Memory Wall is a reminder of the grandeur of life--of the mysterious beauty of seeds, of fossils, of sturgeon, of clouds, of radios, of leaves, of the breathtaking fortune of living in this universe. Doerr's language, his witness, his imagination, and his humanity are unparalleled in fiction today.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2010.
ISBN: 9781439182802
Branch Call Number: DOERR A
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 23 cm.


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RogerDeBlanck Jul 27, 2018

This excellent collection reflects Doerr’s signature use of stunning prose and amazing details to tell stories of great emotional depth. The beauty of the writing alone will keep you interested, but the real draw to Doerr’s work is the pulsing degree of humanity present in his resilient characters. No adversity is overwhelming enough to contain the abundance of their spirits as they quest towards finding moments of peace and grace. His characters possess an endurance that makes you genuinely care about them. Regardless of the circumstances he explores, Doerr’s stories always make you reconnect with a belief in hope, which he reminds us is very much alive in this world so often steeped in despair.

Nov 12, 2015

This collection of short stories just blew me away! As far as short stories go, it`s the best collection I`ve ever read. Some of the stories will stay with me forever as they seemed so real. The title story about the woman`s memories being recorded on cassettes is just amazing and beautifully describes how one`s life is really just a collection of memories.

Beautiful short stories, I will remember several of them for years, I am sure. The couple trying to conceive a child was so 'true'. The story of Ester getting out of Germany, chosen by the Jewish doctor to be pirated to USA rather than to the concentration camp... I had to close the book and cry! I wish the 'memory wall' was the last story to leave the reader on a happier note, but overall this is a great compilation for the avid short story fan.

Jul 21, 2011

A magnificent, award-winning group of six stories, covering continents and decades of experiences related to memories. These stories continue lingering in my own memory.

debwalker Dec 09, 2010

Traversing settings from South Africa to Wyoming to Lithuania to suburban Cleveland, and in time from the Holocaust to a near-term dystopian future, in this outstanding short story collection Doerr probes the subject of memory in evocative prose that only enhances the richness of these consistently moving tales.

Anthony Doerr has won the $20,000 Story Prize for his collection Memory Wall (Scribner), a book of six stories set in locales around the globe and sharing memory as a key element. Memory Wall is his fourth book and second short story collection.

The judges commented: "It is the shimmering space between the two planes of reality and memory that Doerr captures with immense sensitivity. He is adept at evoking a variety of places and different times in history, conjuring sharp settings in which the fragility of his characters is played out. The diversity of backgrounds underscores his poetic skill at illustrating his themes of emotional distancing and the resilience of hope. While he displays a rare imagination in the handling of his subjects, he maintains a beautiful and quiet grace in his precise, spare style, providing a harmonious resonance to all of the stories."


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