In Memory of Memory - Reading Guide
The judges spent a lot of time discussing whether or not Maria Stepanova’s novel is ‘fiction’. Discover why - and decide if you agree.
Maria Stepanova’s unique portrait of a family is imbued with rare intellectual curiosity and a wonderfully soft-spoken, poetic voice. Translated by Sasha Dugdale.
The story of a seemingly ordinary Jewish family that somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century. Following the death of her aunt, Maria Stepanova discovers a withered repository of a century of life in Russia: faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs. In Memory of Memory combines these items with a vast panorama of ideas and personalities to offer a bold new exploration of cultural and personal memory.
About the AuthorMaria Stepanova is a poet, essayist, journalist and the author of ten poetry collections and three books of essays.
About the TranslatorSasha Dugdale is a poet, writer and translator. She has published five collections of poems, most recently Deformations in 2020.
Actor Fiona Shaw reads an extract from In Memory of Memory, written by Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale and shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize.
This clip was created for Edinburgh International Book Festival in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and directed by Blanche McIntyre.
The past speaks with a multitude of voices and working with it is a collective process