"A California woman fights to recover from resurfaced memories of childhood abuse . . . powerfully imagined and profoundly insightful." --Kirkus Reviews
The novel opens with Barbara, who, after remembering incidents of torture at the hands of her father, has quite literally broken down. Found inside a disabled elevator, she is no longer able to function with her new consciousness of these memories--those which are so resistant to understanding. Confronted with this knowledge of evil, she must begin the painful process of remembering and reconstructing a new whole self.
Helping Barbara to navigate her grief and her memories are her therapist, the Psalms, and most of all, the words of Paul Celan. Paul Celan: 1920-1970, Poet. An eastern European holocaust survivor who wrote haunting poems about the darker spiritual trials of life and relationships that exhibit a compact style that fuses broken words and chopped syntax to produce a stark musicality.
This is a novel about a woman who goes to hell and back. It's a story that affirms the resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of love and faith.
"The Memory Room
marks the rarest of occurrences--the debut of a literary master." --Janet Fitch, #1 national bestselling author of White Oleander
"With subtlety, restraint and an extraordinary eye for detail, Rakow has constructed a breathtaking debut that avoids the clich�s of abuse narratives as it tests the boundaries of prose and poetry." --Publishers Weekly