Mark Sarvas discusses his new novel, Memento Park, with Marie Mockett.
Praise for Memento Park
"Mark Sarvas has written a gripping mystery novel about art that is also a powerful meditation on fathers and sons, and the need to face up to the falsehoods spawned by the horror of the past."--Salman Rushdie
"What does the next generation carry forward, and why is it so compelling? In his powerful novel MEMENTO PARK, Mark Sarvas explores the essential questions of history and its burdens and legacies. The gifted novelist Sarvas takes you by the hand and tells you the important story you need to hear." - Min Jin Lee, National Book Award finalist author of Pachinko
"A thrilling, ceaselessly intelligent investigation into the crime known as history." - Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog
About Memento Park
After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his girlfriend Tracy and his attorney Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family.
As his journey progresses, Matt’s revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt’s narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it.
Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas’s Memento Park?about family and identity, about art and history?a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?