The Man without a Shadow
Joyce Carol Oates
HarperCollins, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ew York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates has created a novel with a character far from the norm. Neuroscientist Margot Sharpe meets an amnesiac who can remember something new for only seventy seconds!
fter an infection, during which an extremely high temperature destroyed a part of his brain, he was accepted into a program that would work with him for over thirty years. The object of these studies was to discover more about the part of the brain that houses memory.
harpe became the prime interrogator of the
Man without a Shadow
. This novel reads almost as a textbook while also dealing with the emotions involved. Is it possible to fall in love with a man who has no memory of you if you walk out of his room for over two minutes? Is he capable of love?
f course, much more is involved. Thirty years is a long time to have a patient under scrutiny. Elihu Hoopes, the man in question, can remember his past. Do some of his unfortunate memories contribute to his loss of current memory?
he Man without a Shadow
proves to be an outstanding novel, while also reminding readers to show compassion for those not like ourselves - as well as for their caregivers.
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