The Persistence of Memory by Gordon McAlpine

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The setting is a wood at the turn of the century. A stranger, with the face of an old man but the innocence of a child, is pulled unconscious from a stream. When he comes to, he has no recollection of how he came to be there or who he is. His rescuer, laundress Elvia Witt, names him Farley LaRue after a long-lost lover and takes him home to her abusive husband and large family. Farley begins to experience flashes of a life he interprets as his own. They are not, however, the memories of the wandering Shakespearian actor he had been - rather, he is recalling the life of Hamlet, the melancholy prince whose concerns and history prove oddly consistent with the world in which he now finds himself. As his true face emerges from behind the actor's mask, Farley seeks to reconcile what might have been with what still might be. And as Elvia's yearning for her past love transfers itself onto Farley, he becomes transfixed by her daughter Chastity.

About Gordon McAlpine

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Gordon McAlpine is a Senior Lecturer of English in the Master of Fine Arts programme at Chapman University, Orange, California.
Published August 31, 1998 by Peter Owen Ltd. 156 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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