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She likes the look of the man standing next to her bed, but doesn't recognize that he's her husband, Stuart. What matters is that she feels safe around him. As she searches the house for her children, she is reminded that her son and daughter are both grown with families of their own--how well did she ever know them?

Can You make up for a past you don't really remember?

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It is Stuart who begins to fill in the details for Jill, including the fact that she's a well-known writer, although when she meets with her doctors, they say she may never write again. Against all odds, Jill Robinson retrieved her unique writing voice, and in this engaging memoir shows how she does it. She takes us with her on her exploration of'tlie connections between memory and creativity, celebrity and anonymity, and loss and discovery. From a trip to Oxford to discuss memory with a professor to her amazing voyage to Los Angeles on an assignment for Vanity fair which takes her back to the sixties world of Hockney, Polanski, and Hopper, Jill forges new paths to memory.

In Past Forgetting , Jill Robinson rediscovers friendships she doesn't know she had: Robert Redford tells her stories about her childhood; at John Lahr's London literary teas, she's reintroduced to the writer's world, and Cary Grant offers her memories of her father, Dore Schary.

And being with Barbra Streisand reminds her of a time she doesn't quite remember: when her father was running MGM. In her urgent voyage to redefine herself, Jill asks all the questions you've ever asked on the nature of memory. Is recollection shadowed by emotion? Is memory an act of reinvention? Do people reinvent rather than recollect? In Past Forgetting you'll find the answers and you'll meet a writer you won't want to forget.

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Past Forgetting: My Memory Lost and Found by Jill Robinson

Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available. Learn more about Kindle MatchBook. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. One day in , she woke up in a London hospital, unable to recognize her husband and drawing a blank on the last 10 years or so, because of a seizure. Later, she realized that her childhood "asthma" and several blackouts were attacks of epilepsy. Condensing a long, painful recovery period, Robinson adopts a style that's at times impressionistic but that's unified by fine powers of observation and flashes of humor.


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What fascinates the reader is which memories she has retained and which she has lost. Her devoted husband is largely a benevolent stranger.

Past Forgetting: My Memory Lost and Found

Her children from a former marriageAnow adults living in the U. Aare photographs and voices to her. She seems to recall her privileged childhood most clearly, offering a loving portrait of her father, the Oscar-winning writer and film executive Dore Schary, who ran MGM Studios for several years. Raised among Hollywood royalty in the '40s and '50s, Robinson occasionally confuses her life with movie plots, though some glitter remains from her friendships with Barbara Streisand, schoolmate "Bobby" Redford and such journalists as John Lahr.

The book's primary appeal lies in the author's bravery in confronting her loss, gamely seeing old friends she doesn't remember, forming a writers' group as a kind of surrogate family and reconnecting emotionally with her grandchildren. Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc. A misty memoir of amnesia triggered by a swimming pool accident, and the slow, painful retrieval of memory.

The swimming-pool episode was apparently caused by an epileptic seizure, and Robinson was to learn that she had suffered from undiagnosed epilepsy since she was a child. A career as a relatively successful novelist Star Country, , etc. When Robinson wakes from a brief coma following the accident, she doesnt know him. Although she accepts his and others' word that this man is her husband, its apparently years before she is able to collate the memories of their mutual history.

Most interesting are descriptions of Robinson's efforts to restore her memory, including reading her husband's detailed journals of their years together and rereading her own books. She also keeps careful notes of day-to-day encounters, because she often cannot recall from one room to the next where she is or why she is there.

She continues to write and never loses her ability to cook or her taste for clothes. A new doctor and new medication to control the seizures assist in her recovery. An intriguing but confusing view from inside the author's head that would be considerably improved by observations from the likes of Barbra and Erica about their now-forgetful friend. All rights reserved.

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Write a customer review. Showing of 2 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Hardcover. I am still not finished because I don't want this book to end. Whoever said that whatever happened to your brain would affect your writing was "bent".

Past Forgetting : My Memory Lost and Found by Jill Robinson (1999, Hardcover)

Having had a tumor removed and having had my brain damaged to save my life, I am relating like crazy bad use of words This surpasses even the brilliance of that. My step-brother, Robbie Schary Wollin, knew and was distantly related to you, so I was struck by the face which stared out at me from the cover and how much it resembled his family. I now am going to get something wonderful and sweet from the cupboard, a piece of paper towel to keep the sugar from schmutzing up my outfit, and am going to finish your book, damn it. One thing: with what memory I have I will hopefully be able to read this wonder of language again Jill Robinson is blessed with an elegant, original prose style, and a life story that gives it wing in Past Forgetting.

This is an amazingly original autobiography which takes the reader into the heart and brain of its subject as she struggles to recover memory, and in the process reclaims a fascinating life which began in Hollywood as daughter of MGM head Dore Schary, where she deveoped her writer's eye for the telling detail. What for others would have been a catastrophic event: the siezure which caused a brain storm and severe memory loss, is in her hands a deeply intelligent and entertaining tale of life and memory recaptured.

It is also a rare love story of a husband's devotion, and of a woman's courage. One person found this helpful.