Two major literay awards in 2011 were won by novels exploring themes of memory and time. Jennifer Egan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2011 for "A Visit from the Goon Squad." This unusual novel is comprised of interconnected stories featuring record producer Bennie Salazar, his assistant Sasha, and various other people they know through their lives. Egan depicts her characters as teenagers, young adults, and in midlife. Her characters are often bewildered by the passage of time and the many changes it brings.
Julian Barnes won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for "The Sense of an Ending." This brief novel centers on Tony Webster, a man looking back at his memories of a friendship and a romantic relationship. As he attempts to sort fact from fiction, he realizes that memories of his youth that he believes to be solid are actually quite fluid. The passage of time has greatly altered his perspective.
If you find yourself pondering the mysteries of time and memory, these books may serve as food for thought.
--Jennifer A., Headquarters