August 2022: Forgetting

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August 2022: Forgetting

These literary short stories deal with the subject of dementia—what the world looks like from the outside and inside: how people cope, try to manage, try to imagine, try to adjust. We try to reason with the unreasonable, try to love the unloveable, try above all to find a way of reaching…and finally, we make stories about it.

Reviews for Forgetting

“Karen Heuler writes with tremendous empathy, precision, and insight about the human condition and the fragility of our place in the world. FORGETTING is funny and moving and utterly irresistible.” — Matthew Lansburgh, author of Outside Is the Ocean, Winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award & Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Fiction

“Empathetic and honest, Karen Heuler’s short story collection, Forgetting, spotlights ordinary people who grapple with the pain, frustration, and the absurdity of memory loss. At times these stories are delightful and humorous, other times heartbreaking and jarring. But mostly Forgetting reminds us that although the reality of watching someone slip away can be gruelling, the memories of their existence are precious and necessary. This is a wonderful collection that will surely resonate and appeal to many. Recommended for those who enjoy Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge and Alice Munro’s short fiction.” – Jen Conley, author of Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry, winner of the Anthony Award

“The stories in Karen Heuler’s poignant collection, Forgetting, are unified by senescence and dementia, but they also feature pyromaniacs, kidnappers, mobsters, lightning strikes, and one of the most original casts of characters in contemporary fiction.  Distinguished by Heuler’s distinctive dark wit and her gift for penetrating the nuanced landscape of family conflict—its dramas and traumas, engagements and estrangements—these are indelible tales of loss and yearning that ask complex questions about the relationship between memory and identity.  Who are we when we no longer remember who we were?  Only an artist as original and daring as Heuler could capture both the harrowing dislocation and exquisite tenderness behind the locked doors of the nation’s hospitals, nursing homes and asylums.  Rare is the writer who can pen a story that brings readers to both laughter and tears.   In these thirteen tales, Heuler achieves this feat over and over again.  Forgetting is not just unforgettable, but a haunting masterwork that will withstand the test of literary time.” – Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House.

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