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In the Forest of Forgetting

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  474 ratings  ·  60 reviews
In the Forest of Forgetting showcases such stories as "The Rose in Twelve Petals," "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow," "Lily, With Clouds," "In the Forest of Forgetting," "Sleeping With Bears" and many more, with an introduction by Terri Windling and cover by Virginia Lee.
Paperback, 254 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Prime Books (first published June 6th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kevin Farrell
Here is an interesting collection of stories from Theodora Goss. I would rate some as 3 star and some as 5 star so the aggregate score is 4 stars for the book.

The best and most personally meaningful was "In The Forest of Forgetting". In this story, the main character is in a dream like forest and can't remember who she is or why she is there. She keeps meeting people that she vaguely recognizes as important people in her life but keeps moving deeper into the forest. Several people try to convinc
...more
Robyn
Redditgifts Book Exchange 2014

This short story collection has, with just a single reading, immediately been added to the short list of books I recommend to all readers. Somewhere online, possibly on her own site's FAQs, Catherynne M. Valente mentioned Theodora Goss and specifically this collection as being writing that she especially found meaning in. That is how I first heard of Goss, and I immediately put the book on my wishlist. If I had known how good the writing is, how deeply thoughtful t
...more
Meran
Quote from the introduction: "My problem is with the guards who say, 'You cannot cross the border.' Because when borders are closed, those on either side experience immobility and claustrophobia, and those who cross them (illegally, by night) suffer incalcuable loss."

I find so any people build their own borders and are their own guards, mostly out of fear.

What an usual mind this author has to come up with all these very unusual stories! I love short stories! So few authors write them anymore, an
...more
Althea Ann
This is the kind of mythopoeic fiction I like. A collection of quite short stories, but they pack a lot in to their brief length.

"The Rose in Twelve Petals"
A fractured retelling of 'Sleeping Beauty' (or, 'Briar Rose'), in a dozen brief vignettes, set in a more concrete version of Europe than the usual fairy-tale fare.

"Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold"
A not-very-successful professor and a French poet, both with hidden talents, are summoned by a mysterious figure to an interstitial pl
...more
Jonathan Scotese
I started this book with high expectations and was disappointed. Theodora Goss is one of the best authors I have stumbled across this year. Her style is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman but a bit less fun and a bit more literary. However, the stories in this collection are closer to Magical Realism than her other more recent works. This collection reminds me more of dry Peter S. Beagle stories. They are not bad, and if literary, dry speculative fiction is your thing then you will enjoy these, but it h ...more
Claire
Absolutely adored the story "Lily, with Clouds." The others were well imagined as well. I like an author who introduces fantastical elements as if they are a part of every day life.
Margaret
I thought I had read quite a few short stories by Theodora Goss, but of the sixteen stories in this collection, I had only read one! And I enjoyed almost all of them, and even the few I was iffy on, I thought were well-written. Goss writes with rich imagery and focused, realistic, unique characters, and her entwining of those two are what makes her short stories so good. The characters feel real, and I almost believe they are real, yet the situations are fantastical. My favorites were "Professor ...more
Whitney Watercutter
These are masterfully written. Goss is extremely talented. I think many people hear "short story" or "fairytale" or "gothic" and automatically peg that type of writing as being niche or young adult or erotic. This book is none of, and more than, all of those things. Although the tales are gothic, there is a beacon of lightheartedness in many of them; although they are fantasy, they are intelligently designed and mixed with just the right amount of realism. This book broke my expectations for wha ...more
Kerry
A beautifully crafted collection of short stories, Theodora Goss’ In the Forest of Forgetting draws on fairy tale and mythological motifs in creative and unexpected ways. While most, if not all, of the stories were amazing, these were the highlights of the book, at least in my opinion.

In the Forest of Forgetting
In the Forest of Forgetting, the story from which the book takes its title, is breathtaking and haunting. A soberly enchanting allegory, it chronicles a woman’s journey with breast cance
...more
Michelle
This is a collection of short stories by Theodora Gross. Some of the tales are different takes on classic fairy tales such as "Sleeping with Bears" where a Southern society girl marries a bear, with the story told by her jaded/envious sister. This is a take on Rose Red/ Rose White. Other stories in this format include " A Rose in Twelve Petals" and "Feeling Very Strange" (Sleeping Beauty) and The title story is reminiscient of Alice's journey in the forest, but is the tale of a woman suffering f ...more
Bonnie Stufflebeam
Originally posted on Short Story Review:

Theodora Goss is a master of place. In all sixteen short stories included in her collection In the Forest of Forgetting, the setting, though often a fictional and fantastical place, is as vivid as the characters, many of whom are greatly affected by the places they inhabit. In the introduction by Terri Windling, which gives an interesting biography of Goss and explores her historical context for the way she writes, Windling says, “Goss is a travel guide ac
...more
Izlinda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John
A great collection of (quite) short stories by Theodora Goss. They mostly fall into a category I'd call fantasy, but some are more closely related to fairy tales. I'll go over each story briefly.

### The Rose in Twelve Petals
A broken-up retelling of *Sleeping Beauty*. I'm not super familiar with the original tale, but this story is set in Medieval Europe and told in twelve parts.

### Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold
A professor and a French poet meet at a place-between-the-worlds (of lif
...more
AJ LeBlanc
A collection of short stories, retold tales, and fairy stories. Like all short story collections, there were some I liked a lot and others were just OK. I picked this up because Terri Windling wrote the intro, and as far as I’m concerned, that woman is magic. Her collections have introduced me to many of my now favorite authors, and if she tells me to read something, I’m going to read it.

There are sixteen tales in this book. I’m going to do a quick highlight of my favorites. Not to say that I di
...more
Patty
It took me some time to read this collection and I am glad I didn't rush through it. Goss has a singular way with words that inspires slow reading. Goss uses common fairy tales, historical settings and seemingly ordinary people to tell extraordinary stories.

One of the amazing parts of these stories was the way they were often linked. I do not think any word, character or happening is accidental. So when a town, person or even a first name was repeated, I was sure that Goss had a good reason. I a
...more
Josie
I read "Sleeping With Bears" online (on a fantasy magazine website, I think?) and as soon as I'd finished it, I ordered this book. That was how good it was. I couldn't wait to read this, and although some of the stories were better than others (I'll be honest, I didn't really understand the philosophy ones?) I've never been so satisfied with an impulse buy.

The writing is perfect -- exactly to my taste. It's beautiful and enchanting, but not overly complex or inaccessible. The ordinary sits along
...more
H. Anne Stoj
I found this to be a really lovely collection of works by an author I'm not particularly familiar with. The first story, The Rose In Twelve Petals, I remembered reading in an anthology somewhere. (I can't recall now if it was one of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror or one of the faerie tale collections edited by Windling and Datlow.) I do, though, remember liking it a great deal. Just like I remember liking Lily, With Clouds, the other story I read previously to me and am not sure about where ...more
Craig

These delicately crafted, literary fantasies draw from Victorian morality stories and fairytales. The language is spare and considered, the tone dry spiked with mordant humor. Goss discreetly and elegantly updates the gothic tale for postmodern times. Her "Emily Gray" stories concern a governess who grants children's deepest wishes, at a terrible price. Three of the Emily Gray tales are here. The title story turns a breast cancer patient's life into a magical fable. Other stories take place in B
...more
Maureen E
I really enjoyed some of these stories and was less wild about some of the others. One of these was the first story, “The Rose in Twelve Petals”, which I found a tad heavy-handed for my taste. (You can read it here and decide for yourself.)
Favorites:
* “The Rapid Advance of Sorrow“. It felt topical, but at the same time like a dream. Just enough fantasy to keep it from simply being didactic.
* “Letters from Budapest” was haunting and unsettling.
* “The Wings of Meister Wilhelm” and “Lessons with Mi
...more
Grace
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable collection of short fiction. I enjoyed how many of the stories were connected by vague locations or characters (a woman in gray, a cottage at the bottom of the garden, etc). I enjoyed some stories more than others (my favorite was the one about the man who tried to fly), but even the stories I didn't especially enjoy were admirable for their interstitial qualities and whimsy.

There were a few typos that made me wish Goss had had a more thorough proofreader, bu
...more
Kelly Flanagan
An amazing collection of Theadora Goss's short stories. Although the book itself is in the fantasy genre, each story seems so unlike the last and next, that you hesitate to group them as one category. Some stories were a little more horror than fey, and some seemed to be reminiscing of her past. Whether remembered or illusionary. Either way they seem to wade into the unconsciousness and float among our fears and hopes. Surfacing even after the book was put away, prompting you to reread parts and ...more
Jim
Sporadicly wonderful. Ranged from surreal, to whimsical, to just plain magic. "The Wings of Meister" is Just Plain Magic. The tale, "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow" is quite haunting. "A Rose in Twelve Petals" is very nice. "A Statement in the Case" is a quite nice little horror story.

There are a story or two I maybe don't see the point too. Also, there is one or that are excellent, but not Fantasy. That isn't really a criticism, just letting the potential reader know.

I'm giving this 3 stars, ave
...more
Kimberly Lohr
My words are stuck in cobwebs, I can't express how this book of short stories - so dark, tinged golden at the edges - stirred me. Devastatingly lovely.
Tim Storm
Two stories in this collection were phenomenal: "Sleeping with Bears" and "The Wings of Meister Wilhelm." I didn't dislike any of the others, though. In fact, Goss does a great job creating a sort of mise en scene in her stories. That is to say, they are thick with ambiance and voice--in a pleasant way. She often starts just a bit slowly, but by page two or three of her tales, she has usually created an effective hook. The fabulism itself is easy to get absorbed in; stories like "The Wings of Me ...more
Mina
Theodora Goss writes beautiful, magical prose. In the introduction, Terri Windling describes the author's background as a displaced immigrant who crossed the Iron Curtain from Hungary as a young girl, and discusses how it has shaped her ability to navigate the "borders of time, of gender, of genre, of landscape, of culture, and of expectation." This really isn't an exaggeration- the stories in this book are rich and dark fairy tales, but they also span a wide variety of themes (love, loss, displ ...more
Evelyn
The cover is kinda amazing and the stories inside were just as good. Many of them I wish were longer, because I still have so many questions. "Death Comes for Ervina," for one, and "The Belt" for another. I really liked the headings (is that the term?) in "Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold." There's something exquisite about them, even beyond the exquisiteness of the writing in general. By the way, her website at theodoragoss.com is quite good.
Cheyenne Blue
A rather lovely collection of off-kilter, magical-realism short stories. Many have a Hungarian flavour, which I enjoyed. Some were interlinked. Beautiful language, very precise word choice.

While the common convention is to put the strongest stories first in an anthology, I found the stories I enjoyed the most came later, in the middle or near the end - or maybe it just took me a while to find my groove with Goss' writing.
Steph
Captivating.
Dark.
Sensuous.
Lush.
Unique.
Exciting.
Original.
A modern-day descendent of the Grimm's with fairy tales for adults done right. This collection of stories is exotic, intelligent, gothic loveliness, which takes the reader to remote, European and American locales, introduces characters that bend the perception between fantasy and reality, and harbor subtle truths beneath their dark tales. What a treasure!
Dorothy
Contains "The Rose in Twelve Petals", "Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold", "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow", "Lily, With Clouds", "Miss Emily Gray", "In the Forest of Forgetting", "Sleeping with Bears", "Letters from Budapest", "The Wings of Meister Wilhelm", "Conrad", "A Statement in the Case", "Death Comes for Ervina", "The Belt", "Phalaenopsis", "Pip and the Fairies", and "Lessons with Miss Gray".

Nora Peevy
Theodora Goss's short story collection, In the Forest of Forgetting, proved beautiful on more than one level. It is a gorgeous book; the cover illustration and the page illustrations accompanying each story fit quite well. And the stories will give any writer writing envy. They are so beautiful. Gross does a wonderful job of weaving myth with modern world or a Victorian setting. This book is a shining gem!
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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, ...more
More about Theodora Goss...
The Thorn and the Blossom The Rose in Twelve Petals Songs for Ophelia Voices from Fairyland: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner Oz Reimagined: Lost Girls of Oz

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“I will tell you, too, that every fairy tale has a moral. The moral of my story may be that love is a constraint, as strong as any belt. And this is certainly true, which makes it a good moral. Or it may be that we are all constrained in some way, either in our bodies, or in our hearts or minds, an Empress as well as the woman who does her laundry. ... Perhaps it is that a shoemaker's daughter can bear restraint less easily than an aristocrat, that what he can bear for three years she can endure only for three days. ... Or perhaps my moral is that our desire for freedom is stronger than love or pity. That is a wicked moral, or so the Church has taught us. But I do not know which moral is the correct one. And that is also the way of a fairy tale.” 26 likes
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