Remember to Forget Me
With the publication of Remember to Forget Me comes the highly anticipated follow-up to Kerry Neville’s award-winning debut, Necessary Lies. In this new volume, Neville peers with a steady eye into the universal struggle to lead a life of purpose and dignity. In "Zorya," we are drawn into the world of a former Ukrainian sex worker whose determination to embark on a new path with the dream of supporting her son and aging mother ends up subjecting her to even greater affronts. "Indignity” takes us into the mind of a Polish widow who comes to the United States determined to start her life anew only to discover that her job as caregiver puts her into a painful collision with her past. In “Lionman,” we witness a circus freak whose unexpected chance to satisfy his hunger for human connection leads to a nearly inconceivable revelation. And in the title story, a devoted husband thinks he has survived life’s final assault by consenting to have his beloved wife institutionalized for dementia—only to find that it’s just the beginning of his heartbreak. With enormous compassion, Kerry Neville penetrates deep into the lives of people shattered as much by yearning as by loss. These are stories you won’t soon forget.
Death, birth and the complications of both are the threads running through Bakken's debut story collection. In "The Effects of Light," Jack and his soon-to-be–ex-wife travel to Greece seeking closure after his sister Kate's suicide. Jack, all his life the "brother-knight charged with [Kate's] safekeeping," must learn how to carry on when the burden of caring for her has been lifted. In "Eggs," Annie and Noah, anxious to start a family, suffer through months of "unreproductive sex" and fertility treatments while Annie's friend gets and remains pregnant just long enough to abort. The title story centers on the impending birth of Mike and Gwen's daughter; Mike feels neglected as Gwen shares a bond with their unborn child that he can't share. His alienation is further compounded when he decides to help a troubled teenager in his English class who pours out her self-destructive longings in a class journal. Mike finds himself unsure of how to contend with the implications of his good intentions and wonders how he will cope with parenting. Bakken's quiet exploration of life's bookends makes for an auspicious first outing.--Publishers Weekly