Hi! I have read memories of a teenage amnesiac so many times and I love James Larkin. Please write more about him

Questions 2, 3, and 4 all involve James Larkin, the slightly Byronic, mood disordered, second love interest of Naomi, inMemoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.

Like you—and perhaps you are the same person or perhaps you are three different people—I think about James from time to time. Every now and again, a character is a little too alive, and it is hard to remember that you didn’t know him for real. I once wrote him into a different book that I didn’t end up finishing. But I can tell you this: he is in film school at Columbia and he is all right.

He still gets depressed every now and again, but now that he is older, he is better able to deal with his moods. He thinks about Naomi occasionally, but never tries to contact her. The Christmas before senior year of college, he runs into her at the airport. She is on her way home from school; he is on his way to California to see his dad. His flight is delayed so they go into one of those terrible airport restaurants: a TGI Fridays, that type of place. They talk for about an hour—he’s getting really into cinematography; she’s pretty sure she’s going into the family business, writing. When theypart, it is with promises that they’ll keep in touch, but they don’t

When she gets home, Naomi tells her dad that she ran into James Larkin of all people.

“How’s he doing?” Grant asks.

She considers the question. Even though she has had quite a few boyfriends since James, she still worries about him. How do you stop worrying about someone you used to love? “He seemed all right,” she says.

A couple of months later, Naomi Googles him and ends up on his Tumblr. Yeah, James is totally on Tumblr, but not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest. He’s got reasons he doesn’t like all those other social networks, and who knows how long he’ll even stay on Tumblr, right? James’s Tumblr involves screen captures of movie kisses. He’s still romantic, she thinks.

2, 3, 4/85

poem for the heroine of a young adult novel

A girl in a town

—no one gets her—

meets a boy in a town

who does.

Throw in another boy


or someone

not quite human,

and she thinks

the world might end.


You want to tell her:

despite a few close calls,

the world hasn’t ended yet.

And someday you will 

leave this town,

read Anaïs Nin,

cut your hair.

In five years, perhaps less,

you won’t remember

any of this, I swear.

—Gabrielle Zevin

Wednesday Narcissism No. 8: It pleases me enormously that this company is selling a travel journal with a quote from Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac on the front.

You can buy it on Etsy.

If you want them to be Japanese, they are. That’s what I say and I’m the author. I know about these things. 

Because it looks pretty this way.


The phrase “suitcase heart” was suggested to me by the Weepies’ “Slow Pony Home,” a song we ended up using for the soundtrack of the Japanese film version of Memoirs

I enjoyed this critique of the Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac jacket, which is still probably my favorite of all my books’ jackets.


Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Source: http://us.macmillan.com/memoirsofateenageamnesiac

Critique: The cover of the book Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, by Gabrielle Zevin, published by Square Fish, an imprint of Macmillan, was photographed by Mike Bentely/iStockphoto, and designed by Jeffrey Jenkins. The story itself is about an amnesiac— a person who has suffered from a partial or total loss of their memory. Jenkins helps portray this crucial plot point with the simple cover. A cover of a book is the first thing a reader will see before they know what the book is about, and Jenkins’ design not only conveys what the novel is about, but also gives the viewer a lasting sense of mystery that accompanies amnesia and the cause of the character’s amnesia. The type used for the title is very simple— it does not detract from the cover image, but it also stands out because of the light colour of the dark background. However, the contrast is not so intense as to tire the eyes when looking at it. As well, the last word of the title— ‘amnesiac’ — fades away into the background of the photo, mimicking how a memory is wiped away from an amnesiac’s mind. The cover image used is also incredibly interesting. The keys stand out against not only the dark background, but also the text. They seem three dimensional against the flat background. While most of the keys feature letters of the alphabet, the question mark stands out against them in the middle of the composition. The question mark is not placed generally where it would appear on a keyboard, so it draws attention. The use of the question mark in such an unconventional spot brings the mystery of memory loss to the viewer’s mind and allows them to encompass a general question of ‘what happened?’ This makes the viewers want to pick up the novel, and figure the mystery out for themselves. Overall, the elements that Jenkins’ used for the cover design of Memoirs of a Teenage Anesiac embody the theme of the book, compliment the title, and successfully make the viewer want to pick up the novel based on cover alone.