Headless Joe Wonder: Ordinary Lives Gripped by Memory's Extraordinary Power
Degree awarded: M.F.A. Literature. American University
Headless Joe Wonder: Ordinary Lives Gripped by Memory's Extraordinary Power is an original work of nonfiction about people whose lives have been affected by autobiographical memory in a profound way. The chapters in this book vary greatly in time, theme, and geography, but the subjects featured in this book all grapple with the tension between needing to remember and needing to forget. This book uses real people to explore what happens when the balance between remembering and forgetting is upset. It is the both the personal story of a granddaughter seeking to understand her grandma's dementia and the objective experience of a reporter investigating the power of autobiographical memory to construct, shape, warp, and destroy one's identity.