Objects & Places from Memory Police

Yoko Ogawa
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This object symbolizes secrecy and defiance. The narrator recalls that when she was a little girl, her mother would go over to this object in her basement art studio and would pull disappeared objects from its drawers to show to her young daughter in hopes that she too will be able to defy the will of the Memory Police by hanging onto memories associated with disappeared objects.


This object symbolizes the way in which the disappearances affect every one of the five senses. The narrator's favorite story of her mother's had been about this object and its association with her parents' courtship.


This object symbolizes compliance with the will of the authoritarian state. When a particular creature is disappeared early in the narrative, the island's citizens who own these creatures as pets release them from their cages, some while kissing their pets goodbye and weeping...

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