In Memory Yet Green

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In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920–1954, is the first volume of Isaac Asimov's two-volume autobiography.[1][2] It was published in 1979. This first volume covers the years 1920 to 1954, which lead up to the point just prior to Asimov's becoming a full-time writer. In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1954–1978 (1980), the second part of Asimov's autobiography, covers the years 1954 to 1978.

In Memory Yet Green is Asimov's joint 200th book; it was published on the same day as Opus 200. It includes one of Asimov's first ever short science fiction stories, "The Weapon" (1938), which had not seen print before.


The publisher, Doubleday, disliked Asimov's original title, so they asked him to provide another, suggesting he find a good quote from an obscure poem.[3] Asimov suggested the following poem:

In memory yet green, in joy still felt,
The scenes of life rise sharply into view.
We triumph; Life's disasters are undealt,
And while all else is old, the world is new.

Doubleday agreed to Asimov's new title, but couldn't find the source of the verse he had given them. When Doubleday inquired, Asimov confessed: "I wrote it myself".[3] In the end, the poem was attributed to "Anon."

Third volume[edit]

According to Asimov's second wife, Janet Asimov, this two-volume autobiography was too chronological (albeit highly detailed, owing to Asimov's eidetic memory and the copious notes he kept about his life in his daily diary), lending it an emotionless and reserved quality. As such she encouraged him to write a third autobiography, I. Asimov: A Memoir (1994), which would convey more of his feelings about the contents.[3] It won a Hugo Award in 1995.[4]

It's Been a Good Life[edit]

In 2002 Janet Asimov published It's Been a Good Life, an abridged compilation of all three books.


  1. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1980) [Originally published 1979; New York: Doubleday]. In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920–1954 (Paperback, 1st Avon Printing ed.). New York: Avon Books. ISBN 0-380-75432-0. LCCN 78055838. OCLC 6375488. 
  2. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1980). In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1954–1978. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-15544-1. LCCN 79003685. OCLC 5846307. 
  3. ^ a b c Asimov, Isaac (1994). I. Asimov: A Memoir. New York: Doubleday. p. 438. ISBN 0-385-41701-2. LCCN 93008644. OCLC 831955104. 
  4. ^ List of 1995 Hugo Awards at the official website. (Retrieved 25 March 2016.)