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In the tradition of The Glass Castle two sisters confront schizophrenia in this poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness Through stunning prose and original art The Memory Palace captures the love between mother and daughter the complex meaning of truth and familys capacity for forgivenessPeople have abandoned their loved ones for much less than youve been through Mira Bartk is told at her mothers memorial service It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira her sister and their mentally ill mother Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen beautiful piano protg Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well but as her mental state deteriorated Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped murdered or raped When the girls left for college the harassment escalatedNorma called them obsessively appeared at their apartments or jobs threatened to kill herself if they did not return home After a traumatic encounter Mira and her sister were left with no choice but to change their names and sever all contact with Norma in order to stay safe But while Mira pursued her career as an artistexploring the ancient romance of Florence the eerie mysticism of northern Norway and the raw desert of Israelthe haunting memories of her mother were never far away Then one day a debilitating car accident changes Miras life forever Struggling to recover from a traumatic brain injury she was confronted with a need to recontextualize her lifeshe had to relearn how to paint read and interact with the outside world In her search for a way back to her lost self Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where she believed her mother was living and discovered that Norma was dying Mira and her sister traveled to Cleveland where they shared an extraordinary reconciliation with their mother that none of them had thought possible At the hospital Mira discovered a set of keys that opened a storage unit Norma had been keeping for seventeen years Filled with family photos childhood toys and ephemera from Normas life the storage unit brought back a flood of previous memories that Mira had thought were lost to her forever.

About the Author

Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók is a Chicago-born artist and the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling memoir, THE MEMORY PALACE which was an ALA Notable Book and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Autobiography in 2012. She is also the author of twenty-eight books for children. Her writing has appeared in literary journals and anthologies and has been noted in The Best American Essays series. Her most recent book, THE WONDERLING, an illustrated middle grade fantasy, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press in 2017. The feature film based on the book, and directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader) is due out in 2018. A You can find Mira at: http://www.mirabartok.com

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