Exchanging Glances Essay

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Piedmont-Marton has a Ph.D. in English. She teaches in a college in Texas and writes frequently about the modern short story. In this essay, Piedmont-Marton discusses the way memory works in Wolf's highly autobiographical story.

"Exchanging Glances" is a story drawn from the narrator's childhood memories, and yet it's also a story about the partiality and fallibility of memory. Wolf's powerful story about her family's experience as refugees at the end of World War II is fashioned from memory, but it is also a critique and an interrogation of the way memory shapes history and self-knowledge. At intervals in the story, the narrator intrudes to comment on the limits of her ability to remember the events of so many years ago.

Readers have their first indication that memory is problematic in "Exchanging Glances" when they read the first words of the story: "I've forgotten." Though it's...

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This section contains 1,411 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Exchanging Glances Study Guide
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Exchanging Glances from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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