Gabrielle Zevin is best known for her 2006 novel Elsewhere, which was nominated for, or won, several writing awards, including the Borders Original Voices Award. In 2007, she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for Conversations With Other Women. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, her second young adult novel, was published in 2007. Zevin is a Harvard graduate and now lives in New York City.
When she was six months old, Naomi Paige Porter was shipped from Kratavo, Moscow, to Brooklyn, New York. She had been found in an empty typewriter case in the back pew of an Eastern Orthodox Church. Now, she is the co-editor, along with William Blake Landsman (Will), of The Phoenix, her high school yearbook. After working on it one day, they discovered they left the yearbook camera in the building. They flipped a coin to see which of them would have to go back to retrieve it; it was tails, and Will goes home. Naomi retrieved the camera but fell on the stairs and hit her head on the front steps of the school—or at least that is what Naomi is told, for she remembers nothing until she hears James Larkin’s voice twenty-two minutes later.
Naomi is in the ambulance and James is next to her, holding her hand; she hears him tell the EMTs that he is her boyfriend and will ride with her. The pain behind her left eye is intense, but James does his best to take her mind off it. She repays him by gouging his hand hard enough to draw blood when a paroxysm of pain grips her.
At the hospital, she knows her name and she knows she lives in Tarrytown, New York; however, she does not know what year it is. She realizes she was born to be an amnesiac because she has always tried to fill in the blanks of her life. Near her left eye she gets nine stitches and has a large bump. Naomi asks James if he is her boyfriend; he tells her he wishes he was and almost lied to her about it once he discovered she has lost her memory, but he does not want to take advantage of her condition. When Naomi’s dad enters, James slips out unnoticed.
Her dad is not very good at being a nurse; when Naomi asks if her mother is coming, he is incredulous. She does not remember that her parents divorced four years ago and her mother now lives in the city. Her parents used to write travel memoir books—he wrote and she photographed. The last memory...
(The entire section is 6655 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!