The theme of memory has been subject to interdisciplinary research in the recent past as a result of various changes concerning the understanding of memory. As opposed to classical antiquity, when the act of remembering was considered an art form known as mnemotechnics, the conception of memory nowadays is closely connected to identity on an individual as well as cultural level. This master thesis is dedicated, on the one hand, to contributing to illuminating the contemporary frame of mind with regard to the understanding of memory in literary and cultural studies and, on the other hand, offering an analysis of different approaches to the topic within contemporary fiction in English. The theoretical part of this thesis provides an overview, first of all, of the representation of memory in literature over time and, second of all, cognitive processes involved in the act of recollection as part of a survey of modern memory theories. Thirdly, various functions of memory are introduced, some of which are immediately relevant to the literary analysis in this thesis. The latter comprises a selection of recent works of fiction, namely John Banville?s Birchwood (1973), Ron Butlin?s The Sound of my Voice (1987), Janice Galloway?s The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989), and Julian Barnes?s The Sense of an Ending (2011). These novels make use of a variety of narrative techniques and literary devices in order to demonstrate the distortive quality of memories as well as the limits of language to communicate recollections. Especially the unreliability of memory as well as the effects of traumatic memory form a major part of the literary analysis and will be elaborated in detail in this thesis.