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The Memory Chalet

The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

"It might be thought the height of poor taste to ascribe good fortune to a healthy man with a young family struck down at the age of sixty by an incurable degenerative disorder from which he must shortly die. But there is more than one sort of luck. To fall prey to a motor neuron disease is surely to have offended the Gods at some point, and there is nothing more to be said. But if you must suffer thus, better to have a well-stocked head." -Tony Judt

The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any you have ever read before. Each essay charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation "was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution." A series of road trips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt's attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of analysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet-a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.
Penguin Publishing Group; November 2010
240 pages; ISBN 9781101484012
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Title: The Memory Chalet
Author: Tony Judt
  • News
Tony Judt: The Distinctions - The New York Review of Books
Thu, 20 Jan 2011 16:59:21 -0800
The New York Review of BooksTony Judt: The DistinctionsThe New York Review of BooksThe title of The Memory Chalet refers to its ...
The Memory Chalet - Financial Times
Sun, 14 Nov 2010 20:22:18 -0800
The Memory ChaletFinancial TimesIn the final months of his life, the historian Tony Judt lay awake at night trapped inside his ...
Tony Judt's Final Words - Daily Beast (blog)
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 23:07:06 -0800
Tony Judt's Final WordsDaily Beast (blog)From the onset of the disease to May 2010, when he wrote The Memory Chalet, he ...