Episode 41: The Reminders by Val Emmich
Gavin Winters doesn't want to remember. Joan Sully can't forget. For Gavin, mourning the sudden loss of his partner, Sydney, remembering is too painful. For ten-year-old Joan, the daughter of Gavin's college bandmate, forgetting isn't an option. She has what doctors have termed "highly superior autobiographical memory:" meaning she remembers every minute of every day in excruciating and perfect detail. She understands why remembering can be painful, but she understands why forgetting is too. When Gavin comes to stay with Joan's family, Joan offers to give him her memories of Sydney in exchange for his help writing a song that she hopes will allow her to achieve eternal fame. This leads them both on a journey neither expected, seeking to understand how well we know the people we love, what friendship requires, and whether moving forward always means not looking back.
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Val Emmich about why he writes (“Because I’m insane? Why do any of us do this?”), capturing the perspective of a 10-year-old girl (“the actual discovery of her voice was an accident”), and what Sydney’s secret was in earlier drafts (you have to listen to find out!). Also, he sings!