DiscoverThe Booker Prize PodcastOur October Book of the Month: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
Our October Book of the Month: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Our October Book of the Month: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Update: 2023-10-051
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Description

Yoko Ogawa's The Memory Police, translated by Stephen Snyder, is a haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, which was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2020. On an unnamed island, things are disappearing and most of the island's residents are forgetting all about them. It starts small with hats and ribbons but it soon escalates. When a novelist discovers that her editor – who, for some reason, doesn't forget – is in danger from the draconian Memory Police, she concocts a plan to save him. Join us as we explore our latest Book of the Month.


In this episode Jo and James:


  • Share a brief author biography

  • Summarise the novel's plot

  • Consider whether the book is about totalitarian regimes or fascist politics, as many of the book's reviewers suggested, or whether it's about something altogether more mysterious

  • Discuss how translations may affect our reading of the book, in quite significant ways

  • Wonder whether forgetting is really that bad

  • Suggest who should read the book


Reading list:


Further reading:


A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.


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Our October Book of the Month: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Our October Book of the Month: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

The Booker Prize