Memory grew up in a tiny town in north Alabama and worked her first job selling eggs to her neighbors in Mooresville. She had two dozen Rhode Island Red Hens and a Plymouth Rock rooster named JFK. She received her BA from Middlebury College and was a William Hunter Sharp fellow in creative writing at The University of Edinburgh. She was a Henry Hoyns fellow at the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA and also taught creative and expository writing. Memory served as a fiction editor for Meridian and has taught extracurricular fiction workshops at the University of Virginia, Harvard College and Ohio State. In addition, she has worked bus carts, retail counters, commercial ovens, deep fryers, mop buckets, blackboards and office desks in Alabama, Vermont, Virginia and Massachusetts.