Extended Audio Sample

Download Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts Audiobook, by Charles Fernyhough Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Fernyhough Narrator: Gildart Jackson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2013 ISBN: 9780062263384
Regular Price: $24.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

How is it possible to have vivid memories of something that never happened?

How can siblings remember the same event from their childhoods so differently?

Do the selections and distortions of memory reveal a truth about the self?

Why are certain memories tied to specific places?

Does your memory really get worse as you get older?

A new consensus is emerging among cognitive scientists: rather than possessing fixed, unchanging memories, we create recollections anew each time we are called upon to remember. As the psychologist Charles Fernyhough explains, remembering is an act of narrative imagination as much as it is the product of a neurological process. In Pieces of Light, he eloquently illuminates this compelling scientific breakthrough via a series of personal stories—a visit to his college campus to see if his memories hold up, an interview with his ninety-three-year-old grandmother, conversations with those whose memories are affected by brain damage and trauma—each illustrating memory's complex synergy of cognitive and neurological functions.

Fernyhough guides readers through the fascinating new science of autobiographical memory, covering topics including imagination and the power of sense associations to cue remembering. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, Pieces of Light brings together science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to help us better understand the ways we remember—and the ways we forget.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A thoughtful study of how we make sense of ourselves.”


  • “Fernyhough is a gifted writer who can turn any experience into lively prose…The stories in Pieces of Light…will entertain anyone who reads them.”

    Financial Times

  • “Outstanding…He draws on both science and art to marvelous effect.”

    Observer (UK)

  • “Fernyhough takes us on a captivating journey into the mind. And he does so with great style.”


  • “An immense pleasure.”

    New Scientist

  • “A sophisticated blend of findings from science, ideas from literature, and examples from personal narratives…refreshing, well-judged, and at times moving.”

    Times Higher Education

  • “A fascinating snapshot of where our thinking stands on the subject.”


  • “His examination [is] welcoming and accessible to lay readers…A refreshingly social take on an intensely personal experience.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gildart Jackson narrates with an English accent and a professorial tone that shifts smoothly between the scientific information and the anecdotes about memory, including the author’s own recollections of childhood. A discussion of age and memory includes the stories told by Fernyhough’s grandmother and his memories of her final days. For these touching passages Jackson softens his voice to highlight their personal nature. Listeners seeking insight into their own recollections may learn from this work.”


  • “[A] thoughtful exploration of recent memory research.”


  • “A multidisciplinary approach to explaining memory…[It] will be intriguing for readers interested in the borderlands where memoir, fiction, and science overlap.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Combining the engaging style of a novelist with the rigor of a scientist…Pieces of Light will both linger in your memory and change the way you think about it.”

    Daniel L. Schacter, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

  • “Fernyhough weaves literature and science to expose our rich, beautiful relationship with our past and future selves.”

    Dr. David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain 

  • “A beautifully written, absorbing read—a fascinating journey through the latest science of memory.”

    Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor at University of California, Irvine

  • “Both playful and profound, a wonderfully memorable read.”

    Douwe Draaisma, author of Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older

  • “In its stunning blend of the literary with the scientific, Pieces of Light illuminates ordinary and extraordinary stories to remind us that who we are now has everything to do with who we were once, and that identity itself is intricately rooted the transporting moments of remembrance.”

    André Aciman, author of Out of Egypt and Harvard Square

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Charles Fernyhough is an award-winning writer and psychologist. His book, A Thousand Days of Wonder: A Scientist’s Chronicle of His Daughter’s Developing Mind, has been translated into several languages. Fernyhough has written for the Guardian, the Financial Times, and the Sunday Telegraph; blogs for Psychology Today; and is a reader in psychology at Durham University, UK. 

About the Narrator

Gildart Jackson’s acting credits span the stage and screen. He is most often recognized for his roles as Gideon on Charmed and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital. He has also starred in numerous television shows, including CSI and Vegas, and he played the lead in the highly acclaimed independent feature film You, directed by his wife, Melora Hardin.