Mem

a novel

184 pages

English language

Published Oct. 19, 2018

ISBN:
9781944700553
OCLC Number:
1002486959

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (1 review)

"Set in the glittering art deco world of a century ago, MEM makes one slight alteration to history: a scientist in Montreal discovers a method allowing people to have their memories extracted from their minds, whole and complete. The Mems exist as mirror-images of their source -- zombie-like creatures destined to experience that singular memory over and over, until they expire in the cavernous Vault where they are kept. And then there is Dolores Extract #1, the first Mem capable of creating her own memories. An ageless beauty shrouded in mystery, she is allowed to live on her own, and create her own existence, until one day she is summoned back to the Vault. What happens next is a gorgeously rendered, heart-breaking novel in the vein of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Debut novelist Bethany Morrow has created an allegory for our own time, exploring profound questions of ownership, …

2 editions

not entirely to my taste, but good nonetheless

4 stars

a bit of a strange choice of premise & setting; no attempt is made to explain the process or mechanism of memory extraction; but that's not the point of the story: the life of a unique Mem is. once I settled with this I found myself intrigued & fascinated by her story.

the story is told non-linearly; scenes in the present of the story will suddenly shift into an account of some backstory; I found this to be a little hard to follow sometimes

some of the characters, including the protagonist, are Black, & the problems that they might encounter living in early-20th-century Canada are simply ignored; the author, who is Black herself, has an author's note explaining why she made this decision, & also recommends some literature on the (generally less discussed) history of racism in Canada, which I think will be going on my to-read list

Subjects

  • Memory
  • Humanity
  • Identity (Philosophical concept)
  • Fiction