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David Frankel

Forgetting is How We Survive

Forgetting is How We Survive


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Name: Salt Modern Stories   Number: 9


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.

Praise for this Book

‘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

Praise for Previous Work

‘The setting of the story and the account of what has happened there are remarkably concrete. But the narrator himself, the more vividly and definitely he remembers, the closer and closer he is getting to disintegration. That’s an effective mechanism, very unsettling.’ —David Constantine

‘Frankel’s prose is simply delicious, from one-sentence sound-bites to luxurious descriptions of paintings, ultimately delivering a heartfelt snapshot of Edvard Munch in a relatively short stretch of time.’ —Charlotte Barnes, Sabotage Review

‘David Frankel’s ‘The Place’ with its marvellous voice and vulnerable main character, keeps on intriguing long after it is read.’ —Vanessa Gebbie

‘Incredibly moving for me was ‘The Place’ by David Frankel. This poignant story is suffused with sadness and longing, a mediation on loneliness and stifled lives.’ —Arja Salafranca, Short Review

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