Memory Librarian

And Other Stories of Dirty Computer

Hardcover, 321 pages

English language

Published Jan. 20, 2022 by HarperCollins Publishers.

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4 stars (10 reviews)

In The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, singer-songwriter, actor, fashion icon, activist, and worldwide superstar Janelle Monáe brings to the written page the Afrofuturistic world of one of her critically acclaimed albums, exploring how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape…and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms.

Whoever controls our memories controls the future.

Janelle Monáe and an incredible array of talented collaborating creators have written a collection of tales comprising the bold vision and powerful themes that have made Monáe such a compelling and celebrated storyteller. Dirty Computer introduced a world in which thoughts—as a means of self-conception—could be controlled or erased by a select few. And whether human, A.I., or other, your life and sentience was dictated by those who’d convinced themselves …

6 editions

Review of 'Memory Librarian' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I approached this book with some skepticism. In general, I'm skeptical of celebrities, even celebrities like Janelle Monáe. And more skeptical of celebrities who try to write books. My skepticism increased when I saw the five stories comprising this volume were co-authored by Monáe, with a different author contributing to each piece. At the same time, I really enjoyed the Dirty Computer Emotion Picture, but was unsure how well Monáe and her co-writers would pull off creating narrative worlds based off an album concept. Quite well is the answer.

I genuinely enjoyed each of these five stories. My skepticism has proven unwarranted. There is beauty, creativity, music, rebellion, love, vision, and authenticity running through these texts. There are the subalterns, the persecuted creating new worlds in the shell of the old, fighting back against a world in which they are not welcome and are targeted for erasure. There is queer, …


  • Short Stories
  • Scifi
  • LGBT