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MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE by Siri Hustvedt

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PUBLISHED BY SIMON AND SCHUSTER

REVIEWED BY KRIS WILLIAMS

Siri Hustvedt is an accomplished author with many fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles to her name. Siri, while moving her mother into a facility, comes across her old notebook and drafts of a novel she had begun writing forty or so years earlier.

What follows is Siri age twenty-three narrating the story of her year in New York after leaving Minnesota. Within this story is the story of the novel she is trying to write and the story of her neighbour, Lucy Brite, whom she hears through the paper thin walls of her run-down apartment.  Her neighbour’s ramblings and Siri’s thoughts and adventures in New York are written in her notebook.

As well as this is Siri forty years on remembering those days as she reads the entries in the notebook looking at what she wrote and testing herself against her memory of that time.  It was sometimes hard to work out what parts of the book were real, that is auto biographical, and which parts were fiction – ‘are we are meant to be interested in the life of the narrator because we are assumed to be interested in the life of the author.’

I had been looking forward to reading the book about a young person’s experiences of New York in the 70’s but found this book very hard to get into and sometimes confusing with the different voices telling the story.  For me it was unengaging and rambled on far too much. 

 

Joana Partyka