The Memory Police
Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder
Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020, an enthralling Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance from one of Japan’s greatest writers.
‘Beautiful… Haunting’ Sunday Times
‘A dreamlike story of dystopia’ Jia Tolentino
Hat, ribbon, bird rose.
To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.
When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?
Finalist for the National Book Award 2019
Longlisted for the Translated Book Award 2020
New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year
‘This timeless fable of control and loss feels more timely than ever’ Guardian, Books of the Year
‘Echoes the themes of George Orwell’s 1984, but it has a voice and power all its own’ Time
‘A novel that makes us see differently… A masterpiece’ Madeleine Thien
The Memory Police is a masterpiece: a deep pool that can be experienced as fable or allegory, warning and illumination. It is a novel that makes us see differently, opening up its ideas in inconspicuous ways, knowing that all moments of understanding and grace are fleeting. It is political and human, it makes no promises. It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision -- Madeleine Thien * Guardian * It's an age since I read a book as strange, beautiful and affecting... this haunting work reaches beyond...to examine what it is to be human... a remarkable writer * Sunday Times * Masterly...Like Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad and Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, Yoko Ogawa's novel transforms a familiar metaphor into imaginative truth. -- Jia Tolentino * The New Yorker * In a feat of dark imagination, Yoko Ogawa stages an intimate, suspenseful drama of courage and endurance while conjuring up a world that is at once recognizable and profoundly strange * Wall Street Journal * Explores questions of power, trauma and state surveillance...particularly resonant now, at a time of rising authoritarianism across the globe. * New York Times, pick of the month *
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