Sue Russell's Reviews > Memory Wall

Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr
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Jan 12, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-reviewed, short-stories, best-of-2010, best-short-story-collections
Read from April 13 to 22, 2010

Update: I'm thrilled that Memory Wall is one of three nominees for the Story Prize. Now I have to catch up with the others. Here's my prepress review from Library Journal.


Library Journal
Suppose you've entered the foreign territory of senile dementia and a surgical procedure could charge your brain's damaged neurons and make your memories available to you once again. That's the supposition behind "Memory Wall," the title story of Doerr's compelling new collection and the metaphorical underpinning for the five stories that accompany it. But rest assured, this is not magical realism. No shape shifting or prestidigitation takes place in these intensely observed narratives, which capture what poet Elizabeth Bishop has called "a mind thinking." That mind could belong to a 15-year-old girl from Kansas getting off a plane in Lithuania with a poodle (memorably) named Mishap, a nonagenarian Holocaust survivor with a seizure disorder, or a fertility-challenged couple in Idaho who must document their every move and who may or may not have finally achieved their objective. Acclaimed author Doerr (The Shell Collector) is equally at home in long and short form, as his numerous O. Henry Awards and presence in anthologies attest. VERDICT This book is a gift to the memory-impaired reader in all of us. Reading it will recharge your neurons and stimulate a few memories of its own.—Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA



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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Sue, what a wonderful review. That's definitely going on my list.


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Oresick Thanks, Sue. Look forward to reading it.


message 3: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Russell Anthony Doerr takes the Story Prize!


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