“The strings of a violin have to be held in place on both ends, and the two poles of Elizabeth Mosier’s book are memory (as archaeology) and forgetting (in the very moving passages about the author’s mother and her descent into the blankness of Alzheimer’s). The music of this book is very fine indeed, and its passion is for the preservation of objects, moments, persons, and places that Elizabeth Mosier has loved. In its clear-sighted lyric eloquence, this book is unforgettable.”–Charles Baxter
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Researched over seven years spent processing colonial-era artifacts at Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park Archeology Laboratory, Excavating Memory: Archaeology and Home (New Rivers Press, 2019) uses archaeology as a framework to explore personal material including my mother’s memory loss, the layering of shared experience in creating family or community narratives, and the role that artifacts play in historical memory.