Memory Wall: Stories

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 13, 2010 - Fiction - 256 pages
53 Reviews
In the wise and beautiful second collection from the acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Light We Cannot See, "Doerr writes about the big questions, the imponderables, the major metaphysical dreads, and he does it fearlessly" (The New York Times Book Review).

Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr's new stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world.

In the luminous and beautiful title story, a young boy in South Africa comes to possess an old woman's secret, a piece of the past with the power to redeem a life. In "The River Nemunas," a teenage orphan moves from Kansas to Lithuania to live with her grandfather, and discovers a world in which myth becomes real. "Village 113," winner of an O'Henry Prize, is about the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the seed keeper who guards the history of a village soon to be submerged. And in "Afterworld," the radiant, cathartic final story, a woman who escaped the Holocaust is haunted by visions of her childhood friends in Germany, yet finds solace in the tender ministrations of her grandson.

Every story in Memory Wall is a reminder of the grandeur of life--of the mysterious beauty of seeds, of fossils, of sturgeon, of clouds, of radios, of leaves, of the breathtaking fortune of living in this universe. Doerr's language, his witness, his imagination, and his humanity are unparalleled in fiction today.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - klburnside - LibraryThing

This book is very beautifully written. It is a collection of short stories that revolve around the theme of memory. Most of the stories were really sad, but in a beautiful way. At the end of the book ... Read full review

Review: Memory Wall

User Review  - Heidi - Goodreads

I originally took this short story collection out from our local library because Doerr's popular "All the Light We Cannot See" had a huge waiting list. Wow. His writing is so gentle, so observant and ... Read full review

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Selected pages


Memory Wall
Procreate Generate
The Demilitarized Zone
The River Nemunas

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About the author (2010)

Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

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