Why I Wrote Photographic Memory

Photographic Memory is as close as I will ever come to an autobiography. I’ve always felt the need to write about my own dichotomous childhood, though the story is masked in considerable fictitious leitmotifs and characters.

The protagonist is born into an “Our Crowd” family of New York merchants, artists and bankers at the very end of World War II, which has already claimed his natural father. He is then raised from the age of two in a small French-Canadian, Catholic step-family in a farming community in Northern Vermont. His occasional travels back and forth between these two cultures will define him as a person, though the cultural contrasts prove irreconcilable for him as a child.

Like so much of what comes to define us as adults, these annealing childhood experiences are often fraught with pain and confusion. Much of the seven years spent writing this book has been my own effort to reconcile the irreconcilable and to better understand the broad cultural spectrum that made me who I am.


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