Tag: Memory

Afterlife of the Troubles

In December 1972, 38-year-old Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10, was abducted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), never to be seen alive by her children again. Her remains weren’t ...

Ireland’s Uneasy Monuments

“History,” writes Fergal Keane, “began with my father’s stories.” These were stories of Oliver Cromwell’s murders, of the dead of the Irish Famine, of wars of ...

My Neighbor Octavia

For years, I knew Octavia E. Butler, the famed African American science fiction and fantasy writer, by her first name only. That was the way she introduced herself when I first met her back in the fall of 1999 ...

The Art of Protest

I marched with thousands on the streets of New York, asserting that “Trump is Not Our President” and “Love Trumps Hate.” So far we are free to assemble on Union Square in New York, to march up Fifth ...

All About My Mother

In her canonical 1939 essay, “A Sketch of the Past,” Virginia Woolf wonders how a coherent past may be reconstructed from countless angles, styles, and past selves. How do we choose from so many ...

“The Sandman” @200

In 1816, only four years after the Brothers Grimm brought out a collection of fairy tales carefully selected and edited for the use of children, E. T. A. Hoffmann published his “Nutcracker and Mouse ...

The Afterlife of Agent Orange

“All wars are fought twice,” writes Viet Thanh Nguyen in Nothing Ever Dies, “the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory.” Even decades after the first war ends, the second war can ...

Tales of the Interwar

Today, the once-provocative suggestion that we live in an age of interminable warfare has become a truism. The claim often takes the form of an observation about the post-9/11 syndrome that drives an ...

Stumbling Over a Violent Past

When Jennifer Teege was 38, she discovered a book in Hamburg’s central library that dramatically transformed her self-conception and her life: I Have to Love My Father, Don’t I? The book concerned ...

Comics versus Franquismo

In the late 1960s, dictator Francisco Franco slowly opened Spain to tourism while continuing to obliterate public memory of the retributions meted out after the Civil War (1936–9). I spent those ...

A Map of Lost Longings

This is an archive. I’ve found the remains of his voice, that map of longings with no limit. —Agha Shahid Ali, “The Country without a Post Office” It has been a peculiar month to be an Indian ...

Modiano’s Memoryscapes

Patrick Modiano’s reputation as a writer of wartime Paris was sealed in 2014 by the Nobel Prize, which recognized him “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies ...”

Love and Death in Indian Country

At its core, David Treuer’s latest novel is a tale of unrequited love and random violence. The stuff of melodrama, to be sure, but in Treuer’s skillful, multi-vocal telling, neither love nor death ...