The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia (Paperback)

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This memoir is unforgettable, challenging everything we assume we take for granted about identity and sense of self. After suffering a trauma and waking on a train platform in India David MacLean has total amnesia. His amnesia is determined to be the result of a reaction to an antimalarial medication. His recovery is in fits and starts. He has memory of song lyrics, but not of family or friends. He has no memory of his girl friend and the attempts at reconstructing his identity are by turns harrowing and hilarious.
— From Michael


"A mesmerizing, unsettling memoir about the ever-echoing nature of identity--written in vivid, blooming detail." --Gillian Flynn, best-selling author of Gone Girl

On October 17, 2002, David MacLean "woke up" on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.

Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. He could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. His illness, it turned out, was the result of the commonly prescribed antimalarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the United States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.

" MacLean] is an exceedingly entertaining psychotic . . . A] raw, honest and beautiful memoir."--New York Times

"A deeply moving account of amnesia that explores the quandary of the self . . . MacLean has written a memoir that combines the evocative power of William Styron's Darkness Visible, the lyric subtlety of Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family and the narrative immediacy of a Hollywood action film. He reminds us how we are all always trying to find a version of ourselves that we can live with."--Los Angeles Times

DAVID STUART MACLEAN is a PEN/American Award-winning writer. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and on the radio program This American Life. He has a PhD from the University of Houston and is a cofounder of the Poison Pen Reading Series.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544227705
ISBN-10: 0544227700
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 304
Language: English