24 March, 2013
"She remembers the name of the president's dog,"appears early in the story and toward the end, "She does not remember the name of the president's dog."
And sometimes she remembers both early in the story and late in the story. "She remembers the scorpions and red ants."
Otsuka has captured brilliantly in the structure, voice and POV of the story the arbitrariness of memories in a person with dementia. "Diem Perdidi" feels immediate and close and the italics denoting statements made by the mother instead of she said's works very well in allowing the smooth flow of the story.
"Diem Perdidi" was first published in Granta: 117 and subsequently selected for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2012.
Reading her interview endeared her to me as I studied painting and drawing as well. The way she compares making a painting and writing a short story is exactly how I've explained it to people.
Otsuka's web page
Otsuka interview with Harper's Magazine (about her novels)