By Sharon Zukin
I have yet to hold the full collection in my hands, but like many North Americans I have read with fear and delight the essays from Tony Judt’s Memory Chalet, published in the New York Review of Books and the New York Times over the past two years. These are the most significant pieces of writing I read in 2010 and perhaps the most significant writing I am likely to read for the rest of my life.
Memory Chalet is Judt’s memoir, composed, dictated and published between his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2010, and his death soon after in 2010. It seems he did not write these essays for publication, but they speak to so many lives and concerns that this may be his most universal, most meaningful book. Certainly the essays are a memory chest for Judt’s children, but they are also a reckoning with his complicated heritage: privileged by intellect, promoted by