The Memory Artist

The Memory Artist 2

by Katherine Brabon

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/05/2016

4/5 Rating 2 Reviews

Winner, Australian/Vogel's Literary Award 2016

How can hope exist when the past is so easily forgotten?

Pasha Ivanov is a child of the Freeze, born in Moscow during Brezhnev’s repressive rule over the Soviet Union. As a small child, Pasha sat at the kitchen table night after night as his parents and their friends gathered to preserve the memory of terrifying Stalinist violence, and to expose the continued harassment of dissidents.

When Gorbachev promises glasnost, openness, Pasha, an eager twenty-four year old, longs to create art and to carry on the work of those who came before him. He writes; falls in love. Yet that hope, too, fragments and by 1999 Pasha lives a solitary life in St Petersburg. Until a phone call in the middle of the night acts as a summons both to Moscow and to memory.

Through recollections and observation, Pasha walks through the landscapes of history, from concrete tower suburbs, to a summerhouse during Russia’s white night summers, to haunting former prison camps in the Arctic north. Pasha’s search to find meaning leads him to assemble a fractured story of Russia’s traumatic past.

About the Author
Katherine Brabon was born in Melbourne in 1987 and grew up in Woodend, Victoria. The Memory Artist is her first novel and won the 2016 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.

"This is a poignant and beautifully written novel." - Jenny Barry

"The characters are deep and rich ... keeps you reading just through the sheer quality of it all." - Rohan Wilson

Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
1st Edition
Dimensions (mm):
Katherine Brabon

Katherine Brabon was born in Melbourne in 1987 and grew up in Woodend, Victoria.

The Memory Artist is her first novel and won the 2016 The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award.

Click 'Notify Me' to get an email alert when this item becomes available

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (2 Ratings)
5 stars (1)
4 stars (1)
3 stars (0)
2 stars (0)
1 stars (0)
  • The Memory Artist

    by on

    Deeply impressed by the quality of writing. Hard to put down once it got going.

  • Haunting

    by on

    So much of what we read on Russia and life under the Soviet Union is rooted in the crimes of the Great Purge and the Second World War. Few writers tap into the narrative of those who survive and those in the generations that follow for whom memory is their heaviest and most important burden.

    At first, Katherine's novel moves rapidly through time and mood. As a reader, I felt a little a adrift in its first pages. But then something happened, I was captured by this narrators struggle and his world which is frozen in time but, like permafrost, slowing sinks away from him.

    This book reflects on the difficulties as well as the importance of writing and the arts in times of repression. It's narrative will suck you in deeper and deeper, right to its breathtaking last moments.