Excerpt from Diem Perdidi, by Julie Otsuka
It might be more accurate to call Diem Perdidi an inventory rather than a narrative. In sentences beginning with “she remembers” and “she does not remember,” Julie Otsuka unfolds a portrait of an elderly woman with dementia, capturing her personality and personal history even as she begins to forget. The story invites us to reflect on what makes up individual identity––our experiences, our habits, our relationships––and what happens to them when they slip out of our grasp.
Julie Otsuka is the author of two novels focusing on the historic experience of Japanese Americans. She is the recipient of numerous awards including thePEN/Faulkner Award, the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Otsuka grew up in California before studying art at Yale University and later pursuing an MFA at Columbia. More from julieotsuka.com.
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