The first of the ebb

If taking fictive inspiration from the lives of friends and acquaintances is ethically dubious, then drawing from a death is probably even more questionable. Most of the details in ‘The Memorialists’ – featured in issue 299:1 of North American Review – are heavily altered: names, geographies, timings and relationships all imagined rather than real, though in trying to describe an emotional truth, one or two genuine details may have slipped through. I couldn’t ask for permission, so I hope the story succeeds enough that there’s no need to ask for forgiveness.

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