Escape From Memory: Frequently Asked Questions
Note: My answers may contain some spoilers for the book—please don’t read this if you haven’t finished the book!
How did you get the idea for this book?
The first impetus for the book came from my daughter, who was about two at the time. Taking off on the name of a character in one of her favorite books, she came up with the expression, “Aunt Memory.” She was so young it was just nonsense words to her (I think--maybe she was having much more profound thoughts than I knew!). But I heard her say that and I started thinking about what it would be like if kids really did have “Aunt Memories” to teach them things. And that led me into wondering what an Aunt Memory would teach, and what a society based on memory would be like, and what it would be like to discover you were part of that society when you’d been away from it for most of your childhood… I’d already done a lot of research about the brain and how memory works when I was writing Turnabout, so some of that research just naturally bled over into this book, too.
Is there any real place like Crythe, where memory is so important?
If there is, I don’t know about it. There have been many instances of people demonstrating amazing feats of memory, like the journalist called “S.” I tell about in the book. (He was real, though I made up the Crythian connection.) And memorization really was used much, much more in education in the past. As we become more and more dependent on digital memory, I think we tend to forget what humans are capable of. But I’m as lazy as anyone else—there are lots of details I don’t pay much attention to anymore because I know I can always look up something on the Internet if I need to.
Will you write a sequel to this book?
I have thought about this. I think it would be interesting to follow Kira and Lynne and Kira’s mom on their cross-country trip. And I think there’s more lurking in Kira’s mother’s brain than Kira is aware of—it would be fun to explore that. But so far I have been busy writing other books, and exploring other ideas that seem more urgent. So I don’t know if I will ever get around to doing this.