Monthly Archives: November 2015


“A homeless woman, let’s call her my mother for now, or yours, sits on a window ledge in late afternoon in a working-class neighborhood in Cleveland, or it could be Baltimore or Detroit.”

Mira Bartok, The Memory Palace

I heard Ms. Bartok interviewed about this book and was intrigued by what I heard about the choice between no medication and being yourself both creatively and dangerously vs. taking medication and being socially acceptable but not yourself and sort of dulled. I was disappointed because I didn’t find this addressed in the book, so I went back and read the transcript of the interview. There is absolutely nothing in that interview that addresses or even alludes to that question. How very odd.

Having recently read a book about using the memory palace technique for Book Club, it was interesting to have it as a framework for this memoir. Even with that technique, however, in the first chapters I frequently felt skeptical about how much detail Ms. Bartok seems to remember from her early childhood.

It was an interesting story, from my point of view more successful as an indictment of how the United States deals with our mentally ill than a memoir. Either way, I’m glad I read it.


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Filed under Memoirs and Autobiographies