Thursday, April 25, 2013

Between My Father and the King

My father fought in the First World War that used to be called ‘Great’ until the truth of its greatness was questioned and the denial of its greatness accepted. My father came home from the war with a piece of shrapnel in his back, remnants of gas in his lungs, a soldier’s pay book, an identity disc, a gas mask, and a very important document which gave details of my father’s debt to the King and his promise before witnesses to repay the King the fifty pounds borrowed to buy furniture: a bed to sleep in with his new wife, a dining table to dine at, linoleum and a hearthrug to lay on the floor, two fireside chairs for man and wife to sit in when he wasn’t working and she wasn’t polishing the King’s linoleum and shaking the King’s hearthrug free of dust; and a wooden fireside kerb to protect the hearthrug, the linoleum and my father and his wife from sparks when they sat by the fire.

Read the rest of Janet Frame's short story 'Between My Father and the King' in the Manchester Review.

The collection Between My Father and the King will be released in the USA on the 14th May 2013 by Counterpoint Press.

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