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Abstract

In his article "The Maze of Shanghai Memory in Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans" Biwu Shang analyzes the memory writing of the novel by combining current memory studies with narratology. The paper pursues three major goals. First, it delves into the maze of Shanghai memory embedded in this novel, which is typically formulated by two contrasting aspects: Christopher Banks's naïve and beautiful childhood memory of Shanghai, and his unhappy adulthood memory of it. Second, it explores how memory plays a dual function of deception and decoration. That is to say, Christopher deliberately uses his memory to create positive images of female characters and to build up negative images of male characters, which makes both of them look deceptively true. Third, it proceeds to discuss the central issue of "orphanhood" suggested by the title of novel, specifically considering how the notion "orphan" is reconfigured by both Christopher's memory and Ishiguro's conception of "unprotectedness."