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The Memory Room

A Novel

List Price: $16.00

August 31, 2004 | Paperback | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4, 520 pages | ISBN 9781593760182
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The novel opens with Barbara, who, after remembering incidents of torture at the hands of her father, has quite literally broken down. Found inside a disabled elevator, she is no longer able to function with her new consciousness of these memories—those which are so resistant to understanding. Confronted with this knowledge of evil, she must begin the painful process of remembering and reconstructing a new whole self.

Helping Barbara to navigate her grief and her memories are her therapist, the Psalms, and most of all, the words of Paul Celan. Paul Celan: 1920–1970, Poet. An eastern European holocaust survivor who wrote haunting poems about the darker spiritual trials of life and relationships that exhibit a compact style that fuses broken words and chopped syntax to produce a stark musicality.

This is a novel about a woman who goes to hell and back. It’s a story which affirms the resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of love and faith.

About Mary Rakow

Mary Rakow is the recipient of two Lannan Foundation Residencies and a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. The Memory Room was shortlisted for the Stanford University Libraries International Saroyan Prize in Literature, a PEN USA/West Finalist in Fiction and was listed among the Best Books of the West by The Los Angeles Times. She comes to fiction from theology (Masters, Harvard Divinity School, Ph.D., Boston College) and lives in San Francisco where she is a freelance editor.

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