“Remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process–it’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory.”
I did a lot of research for The River Leith. The above Radiolab episode was some of the most interesting and memorable. The section on Clive Wearing was touching, amazing, and very depressing all at once. I absolutely recommend this episode for anyone curious about memory and amnesia.
The River Lethe (pronounced Lee-thee) was a river in the Greek Underworld which the souls of the soon-to-be-reincarnated dead drank from in order to have their memories of their prior lives wiped so that they could go forward into their new lives unburdened by the information from their old ones. When looking for a name for my amnesiac character, I liked the idea of playing with the Greek’s river of forgetfulness, and so I chose a man’s name that was similar: Leith.
As it turns out, there are actually several Rivers Leith. Check it out:
The only rivers mentioned in the book are monsoon-swollen rivers in India and the River Lethe. So, folks out there looking for books about any of these gorgeous rivers? This probably isn’t the book for you, unless you like boxers with amnesia and enjoy a bit of the gay romance from time to time. And if you do enjoy that, really, who can blame you?