Saturday, September 8, 2007
The Echo Maker
The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
2006 National Book Award Winner
The title comes from the Cherokee name for the birds, echo makers, calling to each other across millenia, answering to just the instinctive recognition that Mark Schluter lacks....From Guardian Unlimited
Karin Schluter returns to Kearney, Nebraska to care for her brother Mark who had a rollover accident. Severe brain damage has left him with Capgras syndrome. This condition causes a person to physically recognize another person, but there is no emotional recognition. The victim feels there is something "not quite right"; the person is an imposter.
"The Echo Maker" explores identity. Does memory make you who you are? Are we who we think we are or who others think we are? What makes us us? Time Magazine had a cover story on consciousness early this year that reported on the brain and the efforts scientists are making to determine what "I" means. "The Echo Maker" does the same thing from the emotional angle.