Kate Zambreno

“How can I remember this? It was so long ago. The only thing that can be confirmed are these words on the page, is the way I have told this story to myself and reframed and rewritten it over the intervening years.”

“We are again at the cabin. My mother and I are alone in a boat on the sparking blue lake. It is a moment of calm between us, of intimacy. You are either hot or cold, my mother tells me. You are either up or down, never in between. I don’t know why she is telling me this.

–My childhood was unhappy.

–You had a wonderful childhood.

–That is not what I remember.

–But look here, at this photograph. You are smiling. You are happy.

We never remember the moments our pictures are taken.

We think we do, but we don’t.

Photographs do not reflect the turbulence underneath.”

“Palliative care. My father spits out as if the phrase itself were poison. No, your mother is going to live.

Radical treatment.

I hate you and after this is over I never want to see you again I scream at my father. I am screaming to save my mother from all of us. Save her from her treatment. For a percentage rolled into another percentage.”

Book of Mutter (2017)