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Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr
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's review
Dec 07, 2010

it was amazing

** spoiler alert ** The wise, deep stories of Anthony Doerr are a literary treasure. They are written with tenderness, perception of character and compassionate insight into the human heart. The collection centers around memory and their settings vary widely: an old woman remembering her long murdered girlfriends in a Nazi Germany orphanage; a woman seed keeper in a remote Chinese village which will soon be submerged by a dam, drowning her heritage and her own past; an American couple in such a desperate search to conceive a child that their lives are condensed to a singular purpose.

Though old people die and are "glowing atlases dragged into graves," new generations of children are born and accumulate memories. "They push back the darkness; they scatter memories behind them like bread crumbs. The world is remade."

How real the characters are! How deep their dreams; their past is as vividly alive to them as their present, in many cases more so. We are, the writer says, our memories. He writes with reverence and poetry of the incredible kindness between people in the worst of times and a singing belief in the human spirit.

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