Reviews

  • "The Memory Police is a masterpiece: a deep pool that can be experienced as fable or allegory, warning and illumination. It is a novel that makes us see differently, opening up its ideas in inconspicuous ways, knowing that all moments of understanding and grace are fleeting. It is political and human, it makes no promises. It is a rare work of patient and courageous vision"

    Guardian
  • "It's an age since I read a book as strange, beautiful and affecting… this haunting work reaches beyond…to examine what it is to be human… a remarkable writer"

    Sunday Times
  • "In a feat of dark imagination, Yoko Ogawa stages an intimate, suspenseful drama of courage and endurance while conjuring up a world that is at once recognizable and profoundly strange"

    Wall Street Journal
  • "Explores questions of power, trauma and state surveillance...particularly resonant now, at a time of rising authoritarianism across the globe."

    New York Times, pick of the month
  • "The acclaimed Japanese writer’s fifth English release is an elegantly spare dystopian fable...Reading The Memory Police is like sinking into a snowdrift: lulling yet suspenseful, it tingles with dread and incipient numbness."

    New York Times Book Review
  • "The fresh take on 1984 you didn't know you needed."

    Washington Post
  • "Ogawa exploits the psychological complexity of…[a] bizarre situation to impressive effect… her achievement is to weave in a far more personal sense of the destruction and distortion of the psyche"

    Observer
  • "One of Japan’s most acclaimed authors explores truth, state surveillance and individual autonomy. Ogawa’s fable echoes the themes of George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, but it has a voice and power all its own."

    TIME Magazine, Best Books of Summer 2019
  • "Ogawa lays open a hushed defiance against a totalitarian regime by training her prodigious talent on magnifying the efforts of those who persistently but quietly rebel... mesmerizingly direct prose."

    Japan Times
  • "A lovely, if bleak, meditation on faith and creativity - or faith in creativity - in a world that disavows both...The Memory Police truly feels like a portrait of today."

    Wired, Book of the Month