The Memory Palace

by Mira Bartok

Paperback, 305 pages, Simon & Schuster, List Price: $15 | purchase

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Title
The Memory Palace
Author
Mira Bartok

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Hardcover, 305 pages, Simon & Schuster, $25, published January 11 2011 | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
The Memory Palace
Author
Mira Bartok

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Book Summary

The Pushcart Prize-nominated daughter of piano prodigy Norma Herr describes how her sister and she were forced by their mother's violent schizophrenic episodes to discontinue contact with her until the author's debilitating injury changed her sense of the world and enabled a healing access to family artifacts.

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Mira Bartok is the author of 28 books for children. The Memory Palace is her first book for adults. Courtesy of the author hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the author

Mira Bartok is the author of 28 books for children. The Memory Palace is her first book for adults. Courtesy of the author hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the author

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: The Memory Palace

Homeless

A homeless woman, let's call her my mother for now, or yours, sits on a window ledge in late afternoon in a working-class neighborhood in Cleveland, or it could be Baltimore or Detroit. She is five stories up, and below the ambulance is waiting, red lights flashing in the rain. The woman thinks they're the red eyes of a leopard from her dream last night. The voices below tell her not to jump, but the ones in her head are winning. In her story there are leopards on every corner, men with wild teeth and cat bodies, tails as long as rivers. If she opens her arms into wings she must cross a bridge of fire, battle four horses and riders. I am a swan, a spindle, a falcon, a bear. The men below call up to save her, cast their nets to lure her down, but she knows she cannot reach the garden without the distant journey. She opens her arms to enter the land of birds and fire. I will become wind, bone, blood, and memory. And the red eyes below are amazed to see just how perilously she balances on the ledge—like a leaf or a delicate lock of hair.

Every passion borders on chaos, that of the collector on the chaos of memory.

© 2011 Mira Bartok