The Rag and Bone Shop
by Veronica O'Keane
Books > Society
How We Make Memories and Memories Make Us
‘A must read’ Philippa Perry
‘Rich, revelatory and, in the best way, unsettling . . . the mixture of scientific curiosity, bookish thoughtfulness and medical compassion is reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’ Sunday Times
A twinge of sadness, a rush of love, a knot of loss, a whiff of regret. Memories have the power to move us, often when we least expect it, a sign of the complex neural process that continues in the background of our everyday lives. Memory is a process that shapes us: filtering the world around us, informing our behaviour and feeding our imagination.
Drawing on the poignant stories of her patients, from literature and fairy tales, Veronica O’Keane uses the latest neuroscientific research in this rich, fascinating exploration to ask, among other things, why can memories feel so real? How are our sensations and perceptions connected with them? Why is place so important in memory? Are there such things as ‘true’ and ‘false’ memories? And, above all, what happens when the process of memory is disrupted by mental illness?
This book is a testament to the courage – and suffering – of those who live with serious mental illness, showing how their experiences unlock our understanding of everything we know and feel.