How a French Nobel Laureate Remembers Things Past

On Paper and Film, Annie Ernaux Probes History for Questions, Not Answers

Memory is an imperfect reflector of lived experience. We look back through a series of lenses, and our focal mechanisms shift with the light. Personal memory is shape-shifted by history—what is reported on, ruminated on, analyzed, assessed. It’s shaped by who we meet, what we see, and who we choose to see—and who chooses to see, or not see, us. Memory refracts experiences, processes and purees them.

What does the tension between memory and history—both personal and shared, the “I” and the “we”—teach us about both remembering and documenting our time …

California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster

In the New Memoir Miracle Country, a Preview of Our Windblown, Fiery, Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic Potential

How will Californians ever recover from this year of apocalypse and conflict, of pandemic and fire, when landscapes and lives were broken, seemingly forever? Where can we find a miracle?

In …

Coming Home To the Homewrecker

Los Angeles Broke My Family Apart-Then Helped Me Put the Memory to Rest

The day we signed our lease, the jacarandas were in bloom. All up and down Martel Avenue, lavender clouds rose against a perfect L.A. sky, and blossoms drifted onto the …