Book Review: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Allegorical fiction is too unreal to be truly terrifying

15th September, 2019

FICTION: The Memory Police, By Yoko Ogawa, Trans. Stephen Snyder, Harvill Secker, €14.95

From an unnamed island nation, things are disappearing – or, more accurately, concepts are disappearing. The “disappeared” objects and animals (perfume, birds, fruit, postage stamps) remain; what vanishes are the ideas that allow us to understand what they are. To an ordinary citizen of the island, perfume, having disappeared, is now simply odourless water. Some people, however, can still remember...

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