Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr
Stories

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The most radical feature of these stories, however, is not the style but the note of triumph sounded when characters rise above their circumstances and perform some courageous and human act.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

In the wise and beautiful second collection from the acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Light We Cannot See, "Doerr writes about the big questions, the imponderables, the major metaphysical dreads, and he does it fearlessly" (The New York Times Book Review).

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.
 

About Anthony Doerr

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Anthony Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector, a collection of stories that won the 2002 Discover Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Book Award, as well as a New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award.
 
Published June 28, 2010 by Scribner. 260 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Jul 17 2010

The most radical feature of these stories, however, is not the style but the note of triumph sounded when characters rise above their circumstances and perform some courageous and human act.

Read Full Review of Memory Wall: Stories | See more reviews from National Post arts

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