Thursday, June 9, 2022

Top 10 novels about things that go wrong on islands

Rebecca Rukeyser is the recipient of the inaugural Berlin Senate grant for non-German literature. Her fiction has appeared in such publications as ZYZZYVA, The Massachusetts Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She earned her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches fiction writing at Bard College Berlin.

Rukeyser's new novel is The Seaplane on Final Approach.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books that "might be termed 'beach reads,' although they may make you reconsider ever spending time on a beach again." One title on the list:
The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa (1994)

On an unnamed island sunk in perpetual winter, things keep disappearing. After the disappearance of these things – emeralds, birds, roses, all boats and ferries to the mainland – the knowledge of them gently fades from the minds of most of the islanders, except for the unlucky few whose intact memories arouse the wrath of the jackbooted Memory Police. Our protagonist, a novelist, is unburdened by memories, but she learns her beloved editor remembers everything.
Read about the other entries on the list at the Guardian.

The Memory Police is among Aliya Whiteley's five SFF books about division and separation and Lincoln Michel's eight great novels where things disappear.

--Marshal Zeringue