I Forgot to Remember

A Memoir of Amnesia

I Forgot to Remember

What would you do if you lost your past?

In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned. Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household.

Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family, however narrowly, from the near-daily threat of disaster—or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, and read and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the “normal” life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again.

In her own indelible voice, Su offers us a view from the inside of a terrible injury, with the hope that her story will help give other brain injury sufferers and their families the resolve and courage to build their lives anew. Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, this book is the true story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451685817 | 
  • February 2014
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Su Meck talks about forgetting to remember

Su Meck was a young wife and mother when a terrible accident wiped out her memory completely. In her new memoir, I Forgot to Remember, she shares how she rebuilt her life after her traumatic brain injury and what it is like to live with amnesia.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for I Forgot to Remember includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Su Meck. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


At twenty-two, Su Meck was married with two children when a ceiling fan fell and struck her on the head. She survived the injury, but when she regained consciousness in the hospital, she didn’t know her own name, didn’t recognize a single family member or friend, couldn’t read or write or brush her teeth or use a fork—and she had no memories of her life. No one had any idea how bad her memory loss really was, and after only three weeks she was sent back into the world to raise her children and run a household, even though she had no idea how to do any of it. For more than twenty years, Su wrestled not only with questions of who she really was and who she wanted to be but how to simply get by day by day. I Forgot to Remember is the story of a woman who had to grow up all over again and finally take control of the strange second life she had awoken to.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. A memoir by a woman with no memories is a strange concept, but how different is see more

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About the Authors

Su Meck
Photograph © Jared Leeds

Su Meck

Su Meck recently graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music, in addition to a Book Studies Concentration. Su’s written work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine. She and her husband, Jim, currently live in Northampton, Massachusetts, with their two Lab rescue dogs, Fern and Farley, and their two tuxedo cats, Apollo and Athena. They have three grown children, Benjamin, Patrick, and Kassidy.

Daniel de Visé
John M. W. King

Daniel de Visé

Daniel de Visé is an author and journalist who has worked at The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and three other newspapers in a twenty-four-year career. His investigative reporting has twice led to the release of wrongly convicted men from life imprisonment; he shared a 2001 Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Wesleyan and Northwestern universities, de Visé lives with his wife and children in Maryland. He is the author of I Forgot to Remember (with Su Meck) and Andy and Don.