The Memory Palace Paperback – Aug 9 2011
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A Washington Post Best Book of 2011
The National Book Critics Circle Award Winner for Best Autobiography of 2011
About the Author
Mira Bartók is a Chicago-born artist and the author of twenty-eight books for children. Her writing has appeared in several literary journals and anthologies and has been noted in The Best American Essays series. She lives in Western Massachusetts, where she runs Mira’s List, a blog that helps artists find funding and residencies all over the world. The Memory Palace is Mira’s first book for adults. You can find her at TheMemoryPalace.com.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a story which takes place in Cleveland, of an absent father and a mentally ill mother.
Norma Herr was once a healthy, beautiful and brilliant piano protege. She was a single mother with two daughters, Mira and Natalie. She loved them dearly and did her best to raise them. As time goes by, her mental state begins to deteriorate. She begins to think less of Chopin and more about the Nazis. Norma fears that the Nazis will kidnap, rape and murder her daughters. She is a paranoid schizophrenic. As psychotic episodes become more frequent, she withdraws into a world of her own that Mira and her sister cannot understand. She can become violent and on one occasion, she attacks Mira with a broken bottle and cuts her throat. Mira and her sister fear for their lives and are forced to leave their mother and their home. They both change their names in order to keep safe. For the next seventeen years, the sisters do not see their mother. However, Mira was in contact infrequently by letters through different Post Office boxes. Mira pursued a career as an artist and traveled to Italy, Israel etc. Her thoughts of her sick mother were always there.
At age forty, Mira's life changes drastically. She was in a debilitating car accident and suffers a Traumatic Head Injury which affects her memory. She has to relearn how to read, paint and interact with the outside world. Hoping to reconnect with her past, she reaches out to the homeless shelter where her mother was staying and learns that her mother is dying in a hospital.Read more ›
Finally, both girls were forced to move away and not tell Norma where they were, it was the only way they could live their lives in peace. Years later, after learning that Norma is dying, Mira and Natalia come home and must sift through the feelings they each held against their mother.
This was a riveting, spellbinding, and deeply entrancing read. Mira Bartok's The Memory Palace is a lesson for us all in the sadness and extremely difficult lives people live when a family member is struck with a mental illness. Throughout the book I found some humour but I also found a lot of misery and melancholy. This is a book everyone should read.
Bartok is powerful and articulate writer.
Warning. This book may make you sad and depressed. Don't read it if you are feeling low.
The story is true and very sensitive and loving about a girl growing up with a schizophrenic Mother.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is great, but does not grab my attention like many other books have. Overall, The Memory Palace is a decent book.Published on Jan. 15 2013 by Mark Twain
Read three quarters of this book and couldn't finish it. I had no connection whatsoever to the characters and the writing was tedious. Read morePublished on May 17 2012 by Roxie