No matter whether the photographs were of carefree young faces or haggard
images taken by police, they all seemed to hold the weight of what was to come.
The perfect epitome of the fiction of time, all prior innocence lost…
Katherine Brabon, The Memory Artist
Like many great novels, The Memory Artist took a while to draw me in. As with Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, I can’t pinpoint the moment when I shifted from not being sure if I would finish it, to never wanting it to finish. Not only is the writing exquisite, but also its topic is timely as democracy in America seems to be reinventing itself into some form of democratic totalitarianism in which the government wants to control the ‘facts’.
Laurie Anderson’s wry meditations and observations of US culture are a neat fit. I’ve been binging on Big Science this week, which is as fresh and exciting as when I finally collected it from the record shop (after having it on order for about six weeks) in 1983.
This has always been my favourite, both thematically and musically. See what you think.