Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

theories of forgetting

Theories of Forgetting
by Lance Olsen


Theories of Forgetting is a narrative composed of three parts. The first involves the story of a middle-aged filmmaker, Alana, struggling to complete a short experimental documentary about Robert Smithson's famous earthwork, The Spiral Jetty, in the wake of having fallen victim to a pandemic called The Frost. The second involves the story of Alana's husband, Hugh, owner of a bookstore in Salt Lake City, and his slow disappearance in Jordan while on a trip there both to remember and to forget. His vanishing may well be linked to the Sleeping Beauties, a rising global religious cult that worships barbiturates. The third involves the marginalia added to Hugh's section by his daughter, Aila, an art critic living in Berlin. Aila discovers a manuscript by her father after his disappearance and tries to make sense of it by means of a one-sided "dialogue" with her estranged brother, Lance.


"Lance Olsen's Theories of Forgetting is a remarkably fugue-like ode to the intricacies of memory. Offering two intersecting stories about illness, loss and forgetting, with annotations, this is an extremely smart and moving book about how our lives wind snail-like around one another as they risk flindering away into absence or death."---Brian Evenson, author of Immobility and Dark Property.