The Memory Police
by Yoko Ogawa
translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder
This was chosen by my work book club and I would have loved to join that discussion, but sadly I was in a reading slump and didn’t finish the book in time. It’s a high-concept dystopia but it’s still very readable.
On the island, things disappear. En masse. And their disappearance is policed. Residents wake up knowing that something has to go that day – hats or bells or stamps, for instance. They destroy the items under the watchful eye of the Memory Police and their memory of the thing quickly fades, so that if the word is spoken it no longer has any meaning.
So far so strange, eerie even, but the scary part is that some people remember – and the Memory Police are hunting them down, taking them away.