This short novel tells the story of Hugh Person, a young American editor, and the memory of his four trips to a small village in Switzerland over the course of nearly two decades. He first visits the village as a young man, along with his father. In his second trip, Person's publisher sends him to interview R., a gifted and eccentric author. His third trip involves tragedy, murder, and madness. Finally, Person's fourth trip provides an opportunity for reflection on his turbulent past. In recounting Person's story, the narrator(s) guide(s) the reader through themes of time, love, authorship, and the metaphysics of memory.