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The Housekeeper and the Professor

Some time ago, I heard about a book from Japan called The Housekeeper and the Professor, written by Yoko Ogawa in 2003 and translated by Stephen Snyder last year. As the title suggests, the book centers on the relationship between a housekeeper, her son, and a math professor. The main conceit of the book is that the Professor suffered an accident some years before that impaired his memory, so that his short term memory only lasts around 80 minutes. In other words, every day the housekeeper and her son come to visit the professor, it is as if they are meeting him for the first time. He copes by clipping small notes to his clothing, and in spite of his disability he still dabbles in mathematics.

One part Memento, one part A Beautiful Mind, the book was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and was popular . . . → Read More: The Housekeeper and the Professor