Making Gumbo

MEM by Bethany C. Morrow

What if you could have a traumatic memory extracted from your memory bank?

What if after having that memory extracted you went on with life as if whatever you had experienced you no longer knew anything about?

Would that be a good thing?  Those are the questions asked and answered in a stunning new novel of speculative fiction by Bethany C. Morrow.

The answers are not easy especially when the memory extracted actually takes on your physical form at the time of the experience. And that physical form of you, that MEM, exists, and must be housed somewhere, for some time, as is the case with our heroine Delores Extract 1.

That idea just adds to the questions about the meaning, power and importance of a memory.

In my teaching about relationships, I show my students that trying to forget a relationship is not the way to go because each relationship experience teaches us something and can make us stronger. Hard as it can be to remember, I believe that.  I know it hard, but I know too that there are always lessons that can strengthen us. The author of MEM believes it too.  At one point she says:

“The extraction [of the memory] abandoned her to be just as she had been before, unprepared to cope with subsequent traumas.”

Insightful and surprising, this is a short (178 page) novel that is piercing; with beautiful writing, a meditative and emotional story, unforgettable (so to speak).

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