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The Memory Police: A Novel


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About the Author

Yoko Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope: All-Story. Her works include The Diving Pool, a collection of three novellas; The Housekeeper and the Professor; Hotel Iris; and Revenge. She lives in Hyogo.


"Unforgettable. . . . A masterful work of speculative fiction." -Chicago Tribune

"Ogawa's fable echoes the themes of George Orwell's 1984, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, but it has a voice and power all its own." -Time

"A masterpiece. . . . A novel that makes us see differently. . . . It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision." -The Guardian

"A feat of dark imagination . . . an intimate, suspenseful drama of courage and endurance." -The Wall Street Journal

"[A] masterly novel." -The New Yorker

"An elegantly spare dystopian fable. . . . It tingles with dread." -The New York Times Book Review

"Quietly devastating . . . Ogawa finds new ways to express old anxieties about authoritarianism, environmental depredation and humanity's willingness to be complicit in its own demise." -The Washington Post

"Timely, provocative reading . . . A harrowing parable about the importance of memory and the profound danger of cultural amnesia." -Esquire

"One of my favorite novels of the decade. . . . It's a perfect correction to the overwrought politico-apocalyptic fiction so fashionable in These Times. . . . It clarifies all the things our wired society muddles, especially, and most profoundly, the saving grace of the human touch." -Hillary Kelly, Vulture

"Profoundly powerful. . . . It has the timelessness of a fable, yet feels like an urgent warning about the need for resistance in a world that seems all too quick to forget the lessons of the past." -The A.V. Club

"A searing, vividly imagined novel by a wildly talented writer . . . Dark and ambitious." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The novel is particularly resonant now, at a time of rising authoritarianism across the globe. Throughout the book, citizens live under police surveillance. Novels are burned. People are detained and interrogated without explanation." -The New York Times

"Ogawa lays open a hushed defiance against a totalitarian regime by training her prodigious talent on magnifying the efforts of those who persistently but quietly rebel." -The Japan Times

"Strange, beautiful and affecting." -The Sunday Times (London)

"The Memory Police truly feels like a portrait of today. To await the future is to disappear the present-which only accelerates the speed with which now turns to then, and then turns to nothing . . . A lovely, if bleak, meditation on faith and creativity-or faith in creativity-in a world that disavows both." -Wired

"Haunting and imaginative." -Refinery29

"Ogawa crafts a powerful story about the processing of loss and the importance of memories." -Annabel Gutterman, Time

"Eerily surreal, Ogawa's novel takes Orwellian tropes of a surveillance state and makes them markedly her own." -Thrillist

"A taut, claustrophobic thriller." -Salon

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