The book of memory

by Gappah, Petina, 1971-

Format: Print Book 2016
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Fiction FICTION Gappah
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FICTION Gappah
Monroeville Public Library Fiction GAPPAH Petina
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  GAPPAH Petina
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction GAPPAH Petina
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  GAPPAH Petina
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC GAPPAH
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC GAPPAH
Penn Hills Library Fiction GAP
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  GAP

The story that you have asked me to tell you does not begin with the pitiful ugliness of Lloyd's death. It begins on a long-ago day in August when the sun seared my blistered face and I was nine years old and my father and mother sold me to a strange man.

Memory, the narrator of Petina Gappah's The Book of Memory , is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, after being sentenced for murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. The death penalty is a mandatory sentence for murder, and Memory is, both literally and metaphorically, writing for her life. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was LloydHendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers?

Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between past and present, the 2009 Guardian First Book Award-winning writer Petina Gappah weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate, and the treachery of memory.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gappah's vivid first novel, which follows the story collection, An Elegy for Easterly (2009), is an exploration into the mysterious grip of memory and perception. The narrator, significantly named Memory, is a young albino woman on death row in Zimbabwe's Chikurubi prison, charged with the murder of her white legal guardian, Lloyd. Memory documents her life leading up to her conviction, narrating a nonlinear tale that alternates between her childhood and her incarceration. Growing up in dusty Mufakose Township, Memory is haunted by her mother's unpredictable outbursts and the death of her younger sister, events further complicated by feelings of alienation due to her unusual appearance. Memory's fate is indelibly altered when, at nine, she recalls being sold to Lloyd and thus thrust into a completely new world of privilege. As Memory mines her past, she must also navigate Zimbabwe's tricky political landscape and relationships with fellow prisoners and guards. Eventually, her recollections are challenged as realities come to light. Gappah offers a nuanced, engaging journey as Memory rights the balance between truth and long-held assumptions.--Strauss, Leah Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Gappah's first novel (after the story collection An Elegy for Easterly) chronicles the death row missives written to an international journalist by a prisoner named Memory in present-day Zimbabwe. Memory, an albino woman, begins by talking about life in incarceration, the litany of inmates at Chikurubi Prison (a real prison in Harare known for its poor conditions) and the guards in charge, who are led by a bully named Synodia. Gappah crafts ample suspense regarding Memory's past and the circumstances of the incident that sent her to prison. She's charged with the murder of her guardian, Lloyd Hendricks, a white man whom Memory suspects bought her from her parents when she was nine. Hints are dropped about how the arrival of a man named Zenzo ruined Memory's life with Lloyd. Gappah also recounts Memory's childhood under her protective father and mentally unstable mother, the latter of whom subjected her albino daughter to a myriad of dubious healers for their spiritual cures. Certain aspects of the incident at the center of the story remain far-fetched, though the narrative works as a cautionary tale of how superstition and prejudice can shape one's destiny. The result is a beguiling mystery. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women prisoners -- Fiction.
Albinos and albinism -- Zimbabwe -- Harare -- Fiction.
Zimbabwean fiction.
Harare (Zimbabwe) -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2016
Edition First American edition.
Language English
Description 276 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780865479074 (hardcover)
0865479070 (hardcover)
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