A love story, a mystery, and a memory guide, Past Forgetting
shows a writer's determination to re-create her life. Jill Robinson, novelist and author of Bed/Time/Story
, wakes from a coma to discover she's lost her memory and just about any sense of who she was. And is.
She likes the look of the man standing next to her bed, but doesn't recognize that he's her husband, Stuart. What matters is that she feels safe around him. As she searches the house for her children, she is reminded that her son and daughter are both grown with families of their own--how well did she ever know them? Can you make up for a past you don't really remember?
It is Stuart who begins to fill in the details for Jill, including the fact that she's a well-known writer, although when she meets with her doctors, they say she may never write again.
Against all odds, Jill Robinson retrieved her unique writing voice, and in this engaging memoir shows how she does it. She takes us with her on her exploration of the connections between memory and creativity, celebrity and anonymity, and loss and discovery. From her first tentative steps outside her house on Wimpole Street to London's sleek West End. From a trip to Oxford to discuss memory with a professor to her amazing voyage to Los Angeles on an assignment for Vanity fair which takes her back to the sixties world of Hockney, Polanski, and Hopper, Jill forges new paths to memory.
In Past Forgetting, Jill Robinson rediscovers friendships she doesn't know she had: Robert Redford tells her stories about her childhood; at John Lahr's London literary teas, she's reintroduced to the writer's world, and Cary Grant offers her memories of her father, Dore Schary. And being with Barbra Streisand reminds her of a time she doesn't quite remember: when her father was running MGM.
In her urgent voyage to redefine herself, Jill asks all the questions you've ever asked on the nature of memory. Is recollection shadowed by emotion? Is memory an act of reinvention? Do people reinvent rather than recollect? In Past Forgetting you'll find the answers and you'll meet a writer you won't want to forget.