About the Author
Table of Contents
A Taxonomy of the Unknown 1
Absences and Outages 43
The Memory Pavilion 63
The Oracle 85
Bombing the Ghost 99
The Wallet Lady 131
Meditations on Survival 151
A Room in the Memory Palace 171
What People are Saying About This
Kadetsky's nuanced essays explore the complicated contradictions inherent to memory, how memory holds us captive to our familial wounds, while at the same time helping us preserve the stories, and presences, of those we love.
At the heart of Elizabeth Kadetsky's exquisitely written memoir, The Memory Eaters, is a profound narrative about longing longing for the past, for family, for home, for lost innocence, and for memory itself. Kadetsky deftly weaves her search for family secrets with stories about her own past trauma, her sister's addiction and homelessness, and her mother who was tragically struck down by early Alzheimer's. This is a powerful book, beautifully told.
She illuminates her battles with her mother's Alzheimer's, her sister's addiction, and family secrets with radiant insights and gorgeous writing. Ultimately, Kadetsky answers the question inherent in this memoir: Can we remake the past using the wisdom of the present? The Memory Eaters exquisitely answers that question in the affirmative.
The Memory Eaters functions as love letters to single mothers, to New York City of the '70s and '80s, to the fashion industry, to graffiti artists, and to Kadetsky's own mother, of course. And, like all the best love letters, it's simultaneously wistful and romantic and cutting and sublime.
In The Memory Eaters, Elizabeth Kadetsky carries us down 'the river of forgetfulness,' a journey that proves both brilliant and beautiful. The author's precise eye for detail, the lushness of her prose, her relentless and unflinching determination to comprehend a family's incalculable mysteries, shape a vividly unforgettable memoir of longing and discovery. This one will haunt me for some time.
True to the mystical, fashion-model mother who inspired this dazzling memoir, The Memory Eaters honors the pain of losing a beloved family member to Alzheimer's while also placing the mystifying, if not liberating, self-revision the illness inspires in the larger context of myth-making that all families share.