In her fascinating memoir, The Memory Palace, Mira Bartók recounts her experiences growing up with her mother, Norma Kurap Herr, who suffered from schizophrenia for over sixty years.
Her stories, both heartbreaking and well-written, are almost unbelievable and at times read like fiction. From the moment when, as a five-year-old, Mira sees her mother alone in the kitchen, walking in circles wielding a knife, to being interrogated about her non-existent sexual practices as a child (Is that sperm on your leg? Are you having sex for money? Why won't you tell me the truth? I am your mother! I have a right to know!), Bartók describes her life with honesty, and with noticeable detachment.
She tells the story in the first person present, as if guiding the reader through a frozen dream, trying to piece together what is real and what is not. She describes what...
Images are reproduced from the opening pages of The Memory Palace.
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The Angel of Losses
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