“Forget Me Not” by Dan Schifrin was published in our Spring ’16 Issue and can be read here.
I love family stories; sometimes I wonder if there are any other kind. The people in my story are invented, but the kinds of conversations they have, especially the dredging up and resuscitations of myths, is part of my particular family culture. In full disclosure, the dialogue for the first storylet, “Maurice,” is almost verbatim – but from another family which shall remain anonymous.
What was the most difficult part of “Forget Me Not?”
“Forget Me Not” is composed of multiple small moments or anecdotes. The individual pieces came to me fairly quickly, but understanding their connections, and figuring out the order of operations, was tricky.
Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.
Ben Lerner’s novel 10:04 struck me hard. It’s a profound exploration of art, identity and technology forcing us to ask questions about what it means to live an authentic life, and what kinds of stories can render that life with both precision and mystery.
If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be?
I could choose from a dozen major influences, but today I’ll say: Richard Powers. Years ago, after a reading of his in San Francisco, we got to talking about chess and the music of the game. I’ve long wanted to finish that conversation. (Hey Richard, give me a ring!)
What are you working on now? What’s next?
A collection of stories, and two novels in various states of invention and disrepair. I’m also translating a non-existent book, which is taking more time than I thought.
Our thanks to Daniel for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read “Forget Me Not” in its entirety here: https://www.sequestrum.org/forget-me-not.
Daniel Schifrin’s fiction and essays have appeared, among other places, in McSweeney’s, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Westwind, Jet Fuel Review, Transfer, Hinchas de Poesia, and em. He has a been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, writer-in-residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and a co-curator for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Beyond Belief.”