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Reconsolidation: Or, it's the ghosts who will answer you

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Memory assists perception, grounding our understanding of those around us and those who have left their traces through time – but how reliable is memory really? Memory is malleable, shaped and shifted through consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation is the neurological process that stores memories after an event’s occurrence; reconsolidation refers to a process whe ...more
Paperback, First Editions, 96 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Penny-Ante Editions
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Average rating 4.61  · 
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Edward Rathke
I'm not going to rate this because how can you rate someone's grief?

Oddly, this is the second book I've read that a friend wrote about the death of their mother. Both are powerful books. The other is by Phil Jourdan.

This, though, reminds me much more of my life and my family. I'd prefer not to state the similarities, but it makes this a pretty emotional book for reasons that stretch beyond the confines of the text and their context.

But this is memorable and it's difficult. The sorrow is deep in
A haunting elegy about the death of the author's mother and a sorrowful reflection on the way memories are eroded by grief. ...more
Jennifer Co
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2021, poetry
the memory is relentless, and the more you wish to forget, the more it shows itself. the less you hear from it, the more you are afraid you will lose the memory forever.

very moved by what janice lee dares to chase and trace in her writing and, in her own words, her great capacity to hold many angles of simultenaeity in her work. feels like a very warm and raw thing in my hands while reading this, and this book launches you right into the center of all that is whirling around in grief and in li
Peter Landau
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everybody goes through loss, but not everybody can articulate it with such resonating clarity as Janice Lee does in her sort of essay, kind of memoir, almost prose poem RECONSOLIDATION: OR, IT’S THE GHOSTS WHO WILL ANSWER YOU. Yet this isn’t a dry factual text, it’s more catholic and impressionistic.

The short book, written months after the sudden death of her mother from a brain aneurysm, captures the shocking finality and banal regularity of death. Lee writes about the fluidity of memory and h
Kyle Muntz
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Somehow I finished two books about losing mothers today, but this was definitely the better of the two. There are a lot of very complicated ideas that get tossed around about loss, memory, and selfhood, but ultimately what's striking about this book is its very honest, straightforward portrayal of loss: the trauma of losing a mother, and the specific moments of pain along the way. We get a very elaborate, well-drawn portrait of Lee's family in a very small space, the things that keep them close ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A powerful book, dominance between emotion, analysis, and the language flow seems blended. It's an intensely personal book that instantly brings the reader into that intimacy. Very strong, and very moving. ...more
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Consider death. Consider how memories don't tell you everything, but how memories are all that you have. ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Janice Lee's words will haunt me and my ghosts. Need to read it again, then again. Unti I too become a ghost. ...more
Molly Gaudry
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book.
Peter Rock
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderfully sharp, incisive, helpful book. Loss, memory, ghosts, so many devastating and smart questions, so many carefully attuned words. Just what I needed right now.

"It is when words fail that ghosts appear. It is when memory has something to say, that the ghosts are visible. . . ."

"I don't know what the afterlife is like for others, but for me, it is the period after a life, after the life of that woman who brought me into this world."
Kris V
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
“My memory loss moves through my body like a ghost, the memories that reappear swing my limbs in alternating motions, I am a rearranged body, and again I am stalling. I am stalling.”

A gorgeous quick read. It’s so difficult to write in the aftermath of the death of a loved one, especially a parent. Yet, the white space and structure allows the writing to breath rather than become overwhelming to absorb. Beautifully done.
Siel Ju
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The memories congregate like / a slow-moving herd of dots.”
Janice’s brief work is a fragmentary piece examining Janice’s ghostly dreams of her mother, who died of a brain aneurism — alongside memories of her and philosophical quotes and ideas about memory. It’s a slim but rich text.
Jared Levine
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Janice Lee touches on the topic of death and memory so elegantly in this book. It's interesting to me, that the book appears to be written mostly as means to cope, to understand her feelings, and in some ways seems as it is written because you only get one chance to write about death after immediately loosing your mom—where perhaps it's a unique writing opportunity. Janice in the process of writing, and more so grieving, finds herself reading a lot, which appears as frequent quotes throughout. W ...more
Teresa Carmody
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you by Janice Lee. This is a gift: a lyric essay about the sudden death of her mother, and the afterlife, a ghostly presence, created in memory and in text. Lee writes a beautifully measured grief, its rhythms and contemplations. And there they are, “mother and daughter locked in death match after death match” (20), “mother and daughter in life” (76).
Bookish Watermelon
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely extended meditation on memory and maternal loss. It brilliantly captures the moment of fresh mourning, when the need to remember is most urgent, and the inevitability of forgetting most heartbreaking.
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Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, editor, publisher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction & poetry: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Se ...more

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