cover image Confessions of a Memory Eater

Confessions of a Memory Eater

Pagan Kennedy, . . Leapfrog Press, $14.95 (171pp) ISBN 978-0-9728984-8-5

Kennedy (Spinsters ) turns in a surprisingly bittersweet novel with science fiction overtones and a delicious premise: what if you could relive your past—highlights only? Win Duncan, a history professor at a small New Hampshire college, gets the opportunity when old college buddy Phil Litminov, now a hotshot entrepreneur and maverick investor, calls with a vague but enthusiastic offer to help test a new drug called Mem. Burned out at 40 and drifting away from his wife, Edie, Win's only passion is a book he's writing about Thomas De Quincey, the infamous author of Confessions of an English Opium Eater. But even this passion is fading and easily outweighed by the desire to revisit his days of Columbia grad school stardom. Mem turns out to be more than Win expects, and the plot thickens with Phil's disappearance, the threatened disintegration of Win's marriage and a hookup with Phil's most wounded and vulnerable subject. Kennedy's easy style masks a fierce intelligence and painstaking artistry in this melancholy midlife crisis-with-a-twist. (July)