Thanks for the Memes

For the last few months at if:book, we have been collecting long-term memories: the moments, thoughts, objects and feelings that stay with you over time, whether significant, funny, strange or simply mundane. And I have been overwhelmed at the generosity of our contributors and their stories:

All my old memories seem to be in black and white, like my dreams. But my oldest memory is of walking down a stone path along the side of a house wearing a white dress with black polka dots. End memory.

Memory Makes Us is a new project that explores the role of memory in writing and reading and highlights the frequently transient nature of books, whether on paper or screen. Over the next year or, so the project will explore how memories become stories and how stories are remembered, all the while playing with creative works that are more ephemeral than they might at first seem.


The first stage of the project culminates on the 9th of July with a live story by celebrated author for paper and screen, Kate Pullinger.

Kate will use the collected memories—and a stream of short-term memories via social media—as source material to compose a new work before an audience at the State Library of Queensland.

The clown make-up faded by sea and sun. The hot, soft cotton of my Mack truck teeshirt. The cowgirl attitude, mock-riding Kingbo the faithful Golden Lab. The strength in my thigh muscles, ready to play and, when necessary, to fight.

The live element of Memory Makes Us explores writing as performance. Will the interaction between writer and audience influence the work that emerges? Is interacting with a live audience different to online readership? Will we have to resort to sports-style commentary with a word-count scoreboard? All will be revealed.

If you haven’t submitted your memory yet there are a few days left before submissions close. Who knows? Your memory might just appear between the lines of a new work by Kate Pullinger.

And if you can’t make it to the library to see Kate in person, you can follow her progress from the if:book web site. Be quick about it, though. The story won’t be available forever and it may disappear before you can commit it to memory.


More information on Memory Makes Us is available from the if:book web site.

Kate Pullinger writes Memory Makes Us, a live story on 9th July 2013 at the State Library of Queensland.