In the Shadow of Memory


In the Shadow of Memory

Floyd Skloot

American Lives Series

244 pages


September 2004


$15.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In December 1988 Floyd Skloot was stricken by a virus that targeted his brain, leaving him totally disabled and utterly changed. In the Shadow of Memory is an intimate picture of what it is like to find oneself possessed of a ravaged memory and unstable balance and confronted by wholesale changes in both cognitive and emotional powers. Skloot also explores the gradual reassembling of himself, putting together his scattered memories, rediscovering the meaning of childhood and family history, and learning a new way to be at home in the world. Combining the author’s skills as a poet and novelist, this book finds humor, meaning, and hope in the story of a fragmented life made whole by love and the courage to thrive.

Author Bio

Floyd Skloot is the author of three novels, four collections of poetry, and a collection of essays, The Night Side. Individual essays from In the Shadow of Memory have been included in the anthologies The Best American Essays, The Art of the Essay 1999, and The Best American Science Writing 2000. The essay "A Measure of Acceptance" won the 2004 Pushcart Prize.


“Skloot has created a luminous yet brutally candid memoir. . . . This book possesses a gravity and immensity that belie its brief length.”—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

“Tightly written and beautifully constructed. . . . A tribute to the creative spirit, which is beyond anything as fragile as the thinking mind.”—David Guy, The Seattle Times

"In this remarkable collection of essays, part of the American Lives series (edited by Tobias Wolff), Skloot conveys what it is like to live with a damaged brain. . . . This is an unusual and engrossing memoir written with intelligence, honesty, perception and humor."—Publishers Weekly


2005 Independent Book Publisher Award, essay/creative non-fiction category winner
2004 Literary Award, sponsored by the PEN American Center, creative non-fiction category winner
2004 PEN Award for the Art of the Essay, sponsored by the PEN American Center, finalist
2003 Oregon Book Award, sponsored by the Literary Arts, creative non-fiction category co-winner
2003 Holiday Discover Award, sponsored by Barnes & Noble, non-fiction finalist
Named a "Best of 2003" nonfiction title by the Chicago Tribune
Named a "Top 10 Northwest Book" by The Oregonian
Book Sense 76 Independent Bookseller selection
Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

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