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Description - Memory Maps by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran

I am a wanderer: one with a hoarder's love of houses and things...I am tracing here a memory map of all the places that have stayed with me and, since this is also a map of all the voyages of discovery, this is also the story of the getting to those places.' In Memory Map, probably her most personal book, Lisa charts a life spent in all corners of the world, from Wimbledon to the Venezuelan Andes, from the Caribbean to Ghana, and confesses to wanderlust and fate as being her chief guides. An itinerant lifestyle creates an unpredictable personal life though and Lisa writes movingly about being the support for three children by three different husbands and also, of the pain of failing to be strong.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781860499319
ISBN-10: 1860499317
Format: Paperback
(196mm x 124mm x 21mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 3-Apr-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Memory Maps by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran

Book Reviews - Memory Maps by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran

UK Kirkus Review » The idea that memories take the form of map scrolls is an appealing one - it makes our recollections seem far more tangible and gives them a reverence that raises their importance and allows us the luxury of revisiting them whenever we desire to. This is a fascinating journey into the author's memories, taking us deep into the heart of someone else's most private and intimate thoughts at times in their life when most of us would retreat behind closed doors. The fabulous locations add to the warmth and depth of this hugely enjoyable eighth book by St Aubin de Teran and its lyrical flow reflects the fact that she has written many short stories and poetry as well. As a child in England, St Aubin de Teran felt that 'there had to be more to the world than this, and I felt it my duty to find out'. The hugely evocative descriptions of childhood holidays in Cornwall soon make way for more cultural experiences in Russia, Italy and Venezuela amongst others, all by the time St Aubin de Teran is 18. Much of the book is how the author copes with the various losses in her life - she experiences plenty in the first half of the book alone. Many people would have settled for a life less extraordinary at this point but fate had much more in store. Despite the personal tragedies St Aubin de Teran displays a remarkable talent for comedic writing and her delightful yet distasteful fascination with various Latin American skin complaints (about which she proclaims she has a semi-professional interest) is skilfully depicted. There is something immensely enjoyable about being included so completely in someone else's life story. St Aubin de Teran's talent is to make the reader feel that they have become her confidante in some small way, and the end of the book comes as a great disappointment. One hopes St Aubin de Teran has more stories to tell - her calibre and wit are such that she could make anything sound riveting. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A British novelist and memoirist (The Hacienda, 1998, etc.) evokes the distant places she's liked best, vividly celebrating journeys in countries from Brazil to Mali. Though St. Aubin de Teran often mentions in passing parents, sibling, husbands, and children, they are merely brief reference points on the "memory maps" she draws. These maps are intended not only to evoke place, but to detail the lessons learned there. The author confesses that a certain restlessness has impelled her to travel, driving her to places where the life and the people are different. Youngest daughter of a much-married Englishwoman and a West Indian novelist, she was raised by her mother in a drab London suburb. At 16 she married a schizophrenic Venezuelan and spent seven years managing his plantation in the Andean foothills. Subsequently, she restored a villa with her third husband in Italy, lived on the Caribbean island of Nevis for a restorative six months, and rode remote Brazilian railroads for the BBC. She opens with a defining childhood moment-the discovery in the middle of Wimbledon common of a shimmering bog-that taught her the power of communing with a place. In separate chapters, she introduces places that have similarly affected her: Kew Gardens, where her mother taught her about plants (she later became a passionate gardener); the Clapham Railway Museum, "an Aladdin's cave of locomotion" that fueled her delight in train travel; Patagonia, where at a troubled point in her life she founds the winds calming; and Mali, where she felt she truly belonged. St. Aubin de Teran is one of those rare travelers who appreciates the local color but also perceptively notes such troubling elements as obnoxiously racist English wives in Hong Kong, prostitutes in Thailand, and glue-sniffing children in Sao Paulo. Superior travel writing, but the personal details only tantalizingly hint at tales that bear further telling. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Lisa St. Aubin De Teran

Lisa St Aubin de Teran was born in London in 1953. She has written novels, poetry, two collections of short stories and two memoirs of her time in Italy. The Hacienda, her memoir of her young marriage in Venezuela, was published in 1997 and received enormous acclaim.

Books By Lisa St. Aubin De Teran

Mozambique Mysteries by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Paperback, December 2010
Keepers of the House by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Paperback, September 2005
Elements of Italy by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Paperback, May 2002
Virago Book of Wanderlust and Dreams by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Paperback, November 1999