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The Book of Memory - Petina Gappah

The Book of Memory - Petina Gappah

Title: The Book of Memory

Author:  Petina Gappah

ISBN:  9780571296842

Weight:  757 g

Signed first edition, first printing



Last 1 in stock, fast dispatch

Our price:  £14.99

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

The story you have asked me to tell begins not with the ignominious ugliness of Lloyd’s death but on a long-ago day in April when the sun seared my blistered face and I was nine years old and my father and mother sold me to a strange man.  I say my father and my mother, but really it was just my mother.

Memory, the narrator of The Book of Memory, is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder.  As part of her appeal her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it.  The death penalty is a mandatory sentence for murder, and Memory is, both literally and metaphorically, writing for her life.

As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father.  But who was Lloyd Hendricks?  Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death?  And did everything happen exactly as she remembers?

Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between the past and the present, Memory weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate and the treachery of memory.

Peer & Press Reviews

Every once in a while a debut book comes along that demands attention.  And The Book of Memory is exactly that… while the themes and plot are serious and, at times, desperate, it’s testament to Gappah’s talent that the novel still fizzes with life and humour (particularly in some of the scenes set in Chikurubi Maximum security prison).  The lyrical, melodic writing is peppered with vintage pop culture references and moments that will make you laugh, even in the saddest of scenes.

Natasha Lunn, Red

Two sentences in and I was sold.  Gappah’s compelling first novel is the story of Memory, a Zimbabwean woman convicted of the murder of her adoptive father.  The novel weaves between the three strands of Memory's story, and is at times sharply funny, at others searingly painful.  Slowly, it becomes clear that not only can memories be unreliable, but if you’re not given all the pieces of the puzzle, you build your own story – sometimes with devastating consequences.

The Pool

It’s a cleverly written and powerful story.  It will imprint on your own memory.

Anna Fielding, Emerald Street

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title The Book of Memory
Book Features
Edition / printing First edition, first printing
Overall condition Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed On the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 – longlist (now the WPfF)
Book Stats
Publisher Faber & Faber
Publication date
Printed by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 13 9780571296842
ISBN 10 057129684X
Format Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages 270
Size (h x w x d) 242 x 161 x 29mm
Image and Design Credits
Author photograph Bathsheba Okwenje
Jacket design Faber
Jacket image Jiro Miyamura / amanaimages / Corbis

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