The Memory Artists

Jeffrey Moore

St. Martin's Griffin

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Winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Best Novel

Noel Burun has synesthesia and hypermnesia: he sees words in vibrant explosions of colors and shapes, which collide and commingle to form a memory so bitingly perfect that he can remember everything, from the 1001 stories of The Arabian Nights to the color of his bib as a toddler. But for all his mnemonic abilities, he is confronted every day with a reality that is as sad as it is ironic: his beloved mother, Stella, is stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, her memory slowly slipping into the quicksands of oblivion. The Memory Artists follows Noel, helped by a motley cast of friends, on his quest to find a cure for his mother’s affliction. The results are at the same time darkly funny, quirkily inventive, and very moving. Alternating between third-person narratives and the diaries of Noel and Stella, Jeffrey Moore weaves a story filled with fantastic characters and a touch of suspense that gets at the very heart of what it means to remember and forget, and that is a testament to the uplifting power of family and friendship.

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Praise for The Memory Artists

“Combines smartness with wisdom…Almost absurdly inventive.”
---David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas

The Memory Artists is wonderful. Rich and humane, a repository of culture worth remembering, and a moving elaboration on the simple truth that we should do good for others.”
---Colin McAdam, author of Some Great Thing

“[a] dashing, postmodern novel…Moore exhibits a nimble, sprightly touch, with understated emotive depths; his rendering of Stella’s sadly solipsistic diary is particularly heart-wrenching.”
--Publishers Weekly

"A model of inventiveness... very moving. Jeffrey Moore shows great skill in his depictions of people's feelings. The decadent affectations of Norval, the immaturity of JJ and the feminine insecurities of Samira are all drawn with elegance."
--London Times Literary Supplement

"The Memory Artists is extraordinarily erudite and written with consummate elegance. It is hilarious, filled with pathos and irony, twisted, satirical, tragicomic and extremely challenging. It is a delight... beautiful... inspired, what more can I say? Read it."
--Chatshow Network, UK (book of the Week)

"A quick witted, hilarious contemporary tale of the tricks of memory and the senses."

”Wonderfully intense."
-- The Lancet

"Canadian novelist Jeffrey Moore's finely honed wit had me barking with laughter...engaging characters, and a fine balance of warmth, insight, and eviscerating humour."
--The Independent

"An exceptionally fine example of crossword-puzzle postmodernism: a game to savour, a half-equation to be completed with utter delight. Yet the story is unforgettably human...exhilaratingly risky - leaves the reader spellbound."
--Scotland on Sunday

"A writer of rare elegance and wit, not averse to using slapstick academic farce when it suits his purpose. The Memory Artists is an utterly ingenious work"
--Harbourfront readings

"Jeffrey Moore's ingenious new novel is, among other things, a romp through literary iconography... In its intelligence and ingeniousness it recalls Thomas Wharton's Salamander... It is mesmerizing... reading it is like immersing oneself in a warm bath of words and ideas. There are many rich nuggets buried in the text... The writing is accomplished and memorable."
--Wayne Grady, The Gazette

"The Memory Artists is a marvel."
--The Edmonton Journal

"A metafictive puzzle box, a carefully structured collage of narrative voices... The novel is a delight... challenging, often beautiful, and frequently inspired narrative play."
--Straight (Vancouver)

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Jeffrey Moore

Jeffrey Moore was educated at the University of Toronto and the Sorbonne. He works as a translator and also lectures at the University of Montreal. His first novel, Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain, won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book in 2000. Jeff divides his time between Montreal and Val-Morin, Quebec.

Jeffrey Moore


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Available Formats and Book Details

The Memory Artists
Jeffrey Moore

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429907248
ISBN10: 142990724X
336 pages

From The Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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