Forgetting is How We Survive

David Frankel


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Salt Publishing
15 July 2023
ISBN: 9781784633011
160 pages

From the publisher

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 where earthy realism hides another world where anything is possible.


‘In David Frankel’s remarkable stories the everyday is at once strange and threatening, the setting for both beautiful and terrible events. Frankel maps the edgelands, the fringes, the marginalised. His theme is the ways in which we are haunted and shaped by memories and experiences that are inherently unreliable. This is a brilliantly unsettling debut.’ —Ben Tufnell

‘An unforgettable collection. Frankel is a fearless explorer of the perilous edges of life, where loss, shame and desire haunt and beguile. As readers, we trespass in derelict landscapes, abandoned homes and secret lives. We navigate by glimpse and echo, travelling switchbacks of time and teetering at brinks as big as sinkholes. Here, possibilities glimmer, mystery is sometimes breached, and, just occasionally, beauty flashes like a survival flare.’ —Alison MacLeod