The Unreality of Memory (Paperback)

And Other Essays

By Elisa Gabbert

FSG Originals, 9780374538347, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 11, 2020

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

"Terror, disaster, memory, selfhood, happiness . . . leave it to a poet to tackle the unthinkable so wisely and so wittily."* A literary guide to life in the pre-apocalypse, The Unreality of Memory collects profound and prophetic essays on the Internet age’s media-saturated disaster coverage and our addiction to viewing and discussing the world’s ills.

We stare at our phones. We keep multiple tabs open. Our chats and conversations are full of the phrase “Did you see?” The feeling that we’re living in the worst of times seems to be intensifying, alongside a desire to know precisely how bad things have gotten—and each new catastrophe distracts us from the last.

The Unreality of Memory collects provocative, searching essays on disaster culture, climate anxiety, and our mounting collective sense of doom. In this new collection, acclaimed poet and essayist Elisa Gabbert explores our obsessions with disasters past and future, from the sinking of the Titanic to Chernobyl, from witch hunts to the plague. These deeply researched, prophetic meditations question how the world will end—if indeed it will—and why we can’t stop fantasizing about it.

Can we avoid repeating history? Can we understand our moment from inside the moment? With The Unreality of Memory, Gabbert offers a hauntingly perceptive analysis of our new ways of being and a means of reconciling ourselves to this unreal new world.

"A work of sheer brilliance, beauty and bravery.” *—Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less



About the Author

Elisa Gabbert is the author of three poetry collections, L’Heure Bleue, The Self Unstable, and The French Exit. Her debut collection collection of essays, The Word Pretty, was published in 2018. The Self Unstable was chosen by the New Yorker as one of the best books of 2013. Gabbert's work has appeared in the New Yorker, Boston Review, The Paris Review Daily, Pacific Standard, Guernica, The Awl, Electric Literature, The Harvard Review, and many other venues. She lives in Denver.


Praise For The Unreality of Memory: And Other Essays

“Terror, disaster, memory, selfhood, happiness . . . leave it to a poet to tackle the unthinkable so wisely and so wittily. A work of sheer brilliance, beauty and bravery.” — Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less