Wednesday 16 August 2023

David Frankel, "Forgetting is How We Survive"

David Frankel was born in Salford and raised on the westerly fringes of Manchester. His short stories have been shortlisted in several competitions including The Bristol Prize, The Bridport Prize, The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award, The Willesden Herald, and the Fish Memoir Prize. His work has been widely published in anthologies and magazines, and also in a chapbook by Nightjar Press. He also writes nonfiction exploring memory and landscape. Forgetting is How We Survive is his first collection. 

About Forgetting is How We Survive

A plane crashes. A boy drowns. A body is found on a dark lakeside. A woman tries to make sense of a strange memory from her childhood. A father searches for a missing dog – his only link to his lost son. A boy on the brink of adolescence embarks on a journey and gets more than he bargained for. Young lovers get their kicks trespassing in empty houses. A young man prepares to leave his hometown for the last time, and a giant sink hole threatens to swallow EVERYTHING.  

In Forgetting is How We Survive, people are haunted by ghosts of the past, tormented by doppelgangers and pining for the futures that have been lost to them. Each faces a turning point – an event that will move their life from one path to another, and every event casts a shadow. 

The stories in this collection come from another England in which earthy realism hides another world where anything is possible. 

You can read more about Forgetting is How We Survive on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read an excerpt from the collection.

From Forgetting is How We Survive, by David Frankel

Ghost Story

More investigators come, so you tell your story again. Some believe you, others don’t. Some pay, others don’t. Sometimes you forget details, or the story gets muddled and you are forced to double back, retracing your steps. Sometimes you get excited as you describe what happened and, in your enthusiasm, you embellish — you are only human, after all. These variances create doubt, and you don’t want to be perceived as dishonest, so you begin to consider your words more carefully. Each time you recount the facts, your delivery becomes more refined. You know, now, how to project integrity, trustworthiness, and when to pause to allow the gravity of what you are saying sink in. You understand how to present your best side to the suspicious lens of the camera. 

Although you only ever wanted to tell the truth, you cannot remember what that strange mixture of feelings was like. You know only how it looked in your mind’s eye the last time you recalled it. Each time you recount what happened that day, you piece it together from what you remember saying the time before, the image resolving a little more with each re-telling, its edges becoming more clearly drawn, and you are comforted by this lack of doubt. So you tell the story of what you saw again; the memory of a memory of a memory. A ghost, if you will.

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