Personal and cultural history collide in a deeply intelligent exploration of the significance of minutiae and the unknowability of the past.
With the death of her aunt, Maria Stepanova is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of a century of life in Russia. In Memory of Memory, translated by Sasha Dugdale, carefully reassembles these shards to tell the story of how a seemingly ordinary Jewish family somehow managed to survive the persecutions and repressions of the last century. Dipping into various forms – essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue and historical documents – Stepanova assembles a vast panorama of ideas and personalities and offers an entirely new and bold exploration of cultural and personal memory.
Maria Stepanova is a poet, essayist, journalist and winner of Russia’s most prestigious literary honours. She is founder and editor-in-chief of Colta.ru, Russia’s only independent and crowdfunded magazine covering the cultural, social and political reality of contemporary Russia.
In Memory of Memory has recently been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize.
Maria will be in conversation with writer and critic Rachel Andrews.
IMAGE: Andrey Natotsinsky