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Everything I Don't Remember: A Novel
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Published:
Atria Books 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
WINNER OF THE AUGUST PRIZE, SWEDEN'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS LITERARY HONOR

One of Sweden's most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial.
A young man named Samuel dies in a horrible car crash. Was it an accident or was it suicide? To answer that question, an unnamed writer with an agenda of his own sets out to map Samuel's last day alive. Through conversations with friends, relatives, and neighbors, a portrait of Samuel emerges: the loving grandchild, the reluctant bureaucrat, the loyal friend, the contrived poseur. The young man who did everything for his girlfriend Laide and shared everything with his best friend Vandad. Until he lost touch with them both.

By piecing together an exhilarating narrative puzzle, we follow Samuel from the first day he encounters the towering Vandad to when they become roommates. We meet Panther, Samuel's self-involved childhood friend whose move to Berlin indirectly cues the beginning of Samuel's search for the meaning of love—which in turn leads Samuel to Laide. Soon, Samuel's relationship with Laide leads to a chasm in his friendship with Vandad, and it isn't long before the lines between loyalty and betrayal, protection, and peril get blurred irrevocably.

Everything I Don't Remember is a gripping tale about love and memory. But it is also a story about a writer who, by filling out the contours of Samuel's story, is actually trying to grasp a truth about himself. In the end, what remains of all our fleeting memories? And what is hidden behind everything we don't remember? Told with Khemiri's characteristic stylistic ingenuity, this is an emotional roller coaster ride of a book that challenges us to see ourselves—and our relationships to the closest people in our lives—in new and sometimes shocking ways.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/12/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781501138041
ASIN:
B0176M1AJ4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jonas Hassen Khemiri. (2016). Everything I Don't Remember: A Novel. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jonas Hassen Khemiri. 2016. Everything I Don't Remember: A Novel. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Everything I Don't Remember: A Novel. Atria Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Everything I Don't Remember: A Novel. Atria Books, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:39:37
Date Updated:
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Everything I Don't Remember
fullDescription
WINNER OF THE AUGUST PRIZE, SWEDEN'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS LITERARY HONOR

One of Sweden's most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial.
A young man named Samuel dies in a horrible car crash. Was it an accident or was it suicide? To answer that question, an unnamed writer with an agenda of his own sets out to map Samuel's last day alive. Through conversations with friends, relatives, and neighbors, a portrait of Samuel emerges: the loving grandchild, the reluctant bureaucrat, the loyal friend, the contrived poseur. The young man who did everything for his girlfriend Laide and shared everything with his best friend Vandad. Until he lost touch with them both.

By piecing together an exhilarating narrative puzzle, we follow Samuel from the first day he encounters the towering Vandad to when they become roommates. We meet Panther, Samuel's self-involved childhood friend whose move to Berlin indirectly cues the beginning of Samuel's search for the meaning of love—which in turn leads Samuel to Laide. Soon, Samuel's relationship with Laide leads to a chasm in his friendship with Vandad, and it isn't long before the lines between loyalty and betrayal, protection, and peril get blurred irrevocably.

Everything I Don't Remember is a gripping tale about love and memory. But it is also a story about a writer who, by filling out the contours of Samuel's story, is actually trying to grasp a truth about himself. In the end, what remains of all our fleeting memories? And what is hidden behind everything we don't remember? Told with Khemiri's characteristic stylistic ingenuity, this is an emotional roller coaster ride of a book that challenges us to see ourselves—and our relationships to the closest people in our lives—in new and sometimes shocking ways.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 23, 2016
        Khemiri (Montecore) won Sweden’s most prestigious literary honor, the August Prize, for this compelling novel about Samuel, who was born in Sweden but is of North African descent, and whose last day alive is reconstructed by an unnamed narrator who wants to write about the young man for his own introspective purposes. Was Samuel’s death in a car crash an accident, suicide, or murder? Through tantalizing fragments, the reader learns of the dead man’s various relationships: with Laide, the woman he was dating, who wanted to provide a safe house for abused Muslim women; with Vandad, Samuel’s roommate, with whom he had a falling out; and with Samuel’s grandmother, who allowed Laide’s abused women to live in her house, until somebody burned it down. In this painful novel about youthful optimism gone hopelessly wrong, Khemiri dramatizes such immigration-related issues as failures in elder care, unemployment and dead-end jobs, drug abuse, and racial prejudice. Agent: Astri von Arbin Ahlander, Ahlander Agency (Sweden).

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        In Stockholm, a young man's death forces his friends to consider their culpability. At the outset of Swedish novelist and playwright Khemiri's novel, the protagonist is already dead. The mission of the novel is to piece together the how and why. Samuel, the main character, is killed in a single-car collision with a tree, whether due to bad brakes or suicidal intent is unclear. Flashbacks and flash-forwards follow, narrated in short segments by, among others, Samuel; his friend and housemate, Vandad; and his ex-lover Laide. Samuel and Laide met through their work; he is a functionary with the Migration Board, dealing with residency permits, and she is an interpreter of Arabic and other languages. Laide is also an activist who participates in demonstrations against anti-immigration policies and who establishes, in a house vacated by Samuel's grandmother, a shelter for women, many of them abused, who have fled the Middle East. Vandad, who, it appears, may be gay and attracted to Samuel, is a large man who works as an enforcer for a loan shark until his conscience gets the better of him. He tries more legitimate employment as a mover without much success. Samuel's grandmother, who suffers from dementia, has moved into a nursing home. At first Laide and Samuel's affair blossoms, but it sours in less than a year. When Laide breaks it off, Vandad, out of misguided loyalty to Samuel, reverts to thuggish form in trying to persuade her to reconsider. The grandmother's house is soon overrun with refugees, a fire starts, and Samuel's despair mounts as his family questions why he allowed this to happen, and he himself wonders why he trusted Laide. The piecemeal structure, an agglomeration of vignettes, makes it hard to identify who is narrating. Although the postmodern presentation is initially off-putting, the characters, once we discern who's talking, are deftly drawn. Their voices, resonating with internal conflict and arch humor, are ably rendered in Willson-Broyles' translation. Initially confusing but ultimately moving and grimly funny.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2016

        This is not your standard thriller. It won the August Prize, Sweden's top-drawer literary honor, and its author took home an Obie Award in 2011 for his Off-Broadway play, Invasion! A young man named Samuel dies in a car crash, and an unnamed writer decides to interview Samuel's friends, relatives, and neighbors to reconstruct his last day and determine whether the death was an accident or suicide.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2016

        In Khemiri's (Swedish) August Prize-winning work, an unnamed novelist tries to piece together the life of a young man named Samuel, dead from a violent crash, an accident/suicide. It's been said that a second-person-voice novel is impossible, but this effectively is one. Characters speak directly to the novelist, sometimes addressing him as "you"; the most frequent voices are a girlfriend, Laide, and a best friend/roommate Vandad, both estranged from Samuel, who paint different pictures. It's clear that Samuel is trying to figure himself out, and to some extent the others try to define themselves through him. Whether Samuel's attempts to make deposits in his "experience bank" are sufficiently interesting to keep people reading is debatable. Was his death a suicide, or just another piece of experience? Several episodic subplots emerge (a safe house for immigrant women, a demented grandmother). In the end Samuel gets to relate his last few hours, and the novelist finally gets a voice, briefly, showing that his interest in Samuel's death is more than just fodder for a forthcoming book. VERDICT A "must" for those interested in narrative voice; otherwise, this is beautifully rendered but slow-paced psychological fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 1/25/16.]--Robert E. Brown, Oswego, NY

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
WINNER OF THE AUGUST PRIZE, SWEDEN'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS LITERARY HONOR

One of Sweden's most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial.
A young man named Samuel dies in a horrible car crash. Was it an accident or was it suicide? To answer that question, an unnamed writer with an agenda of his own sets out to map Samuel's last day alive. Through conversations with friends, relatives, and neighbors, a portrait of Samuel emerges: the loving grandchild, the reluctant bureaucrat, the loyal friend, the contrived poseur. The young man who did everything for his girlfriend Laide and shared everything with his best friend Vandad. Until he lost touch with them both.

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