Home : Pieces of Light
Pieces of Light   by Charles Fernyhough
On Sale Date: March 19, 2013, Ship Date: February 27, 2013
9780062237897, 0062237896
$26.99 USD, $28.99 CAD
320 pages
6 in W | 9 in H | 1.1 in T | 1 lb Wt
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down Summary

Blending the most up to date science with literature and personal stories, a psychologist provides an illuminating look at human memory-the way we remember and forget

A new consensus is emerging among cognitive scientists: rather than possessing fixed, unchanging memories, we create recollections anew each time we are called upon to remember. According to psychologist Charles Fernyhough, remembering is an act of narrative imagination as much as it is the product of a neurological process. In Pieces of Light, he eloquently illuminates this theory through a series of personal stories-a visit to his college campus to see if his memories hold; an interview with his ninety-three-year-old grandmother; conversations with those whose memories are affected by brain damage and trauma-each illustrating memory's complex synergy of cognitive and neurological functions.

Fernyhough guides readers through the fascinating new science of autobiographical memory, covering topics including navigation, imagination, and the power of sense associations to cue remembering. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, Pieces of Light brings together science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to help us better understand our powers of recall and our relationship with the past.

down Contributor Bio(s)

Charles Fernyhough is an award-winning writer and psychologist. His most recent book, A Thousand Days of Wonder: A Scientist's Chronicle of His Daughter's Developing Mind, was a Parade magazine pick of the week and has been translated into seven languages. The author of two novels, The Auctioneer and A Box of Birds, Fernyhough has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, and Sunday Telegraph, contributes to NPR's Radiolab, blogs for Psychology Today, and is a Reader in Psychology at Durham University, UK. Visit his website at www.charlesfernyhough.com.

down Quotes/Reviews
"A thoughtful study of how we make sense of ourselves."
- Nature

"An immense pleasure, as Fernyhough casts the emerging science of memory through the lens of his own recollections. . . . In the hands of a lesser writer, such reliance on personal experience could rapidly descend into self-indulgence and clich?, but Fernyhough -- a psychologist and published novelist -- remains restrained and lyrical throughout."
- New Scientist

"Fernyhough is a gifted writer who can turn any experience into lively prose. . . . The stories in Pieces of Light . . . will entertain anyone who reads them."
- Financial Times

"Outstanding. . . . Fernyhough's skills as a writer are evident both in the beautiful prose and in the way he uses literature to illustrate his argument . . . He draws on both science and art to marvelous effect."
- Observer (UK)

"A beautifully written, absorbing read -- a fascinating journey through the latest science of memory."
- Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine

"Both playful and profound, a wonderfully memorable read."
- Douwe Draaisma, author of Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older

"Fernyhough weaves literature and science to expose our rich, beautiful relationship with our past and future selves."
- Dr. David Eagleman, Neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

"Combining the engaging style of a novelist with the rigour of a scientist, Charles Fernyhough has written an insightful and thought provoking meditation on the nature of memory and its implications for our everyday lives. Pieces of Light will both linger in your memory and change the way you think about it."
- Daniel L. Schacter, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

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