The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Gay & Lesbian Interest / Popular Culture


Remembrance of Things I Forgot
A Novel
Bob Smith

“If H. G. Wells had been funny and Oscar Wilde obsessed with time travel they might have mated and produced Bob Smith, who has written the funniest and wildest ride imaginable through the recent past and near future.”
—Edmund White

•A main selection of the InsightOut Book Club
•Featured Title of Book of the Month Club 2
•Winner, Barbara Gittings Literature Award/Stonewall Book Awards, American Library Association
•Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association
•Finalist, Green Carnation Prize
Amazon Top Ten Gay & Lesbian Books of the Year
•Bob Smith, one of Instinct magazine’s Leading Men 2011

“It’s safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine.”

In 2006 comic book dealer John Sherkston decides to break up with his physicist boyfriend, Taylor Esgard, on the very day Taylor announces he’s finally perfected a time machine for the U.S. government. John travels back to 1986, where he encounters “Junior,” his younger, more innocent self. When Junior starts to flirt, John wonders how to reveal his identity: “I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine.” He also meets up with the younger Taylor, and this unlikely trio teams up to plot a course around their future relationship woes, prevent John’s sister from making a tragic decision, and stop George W. Bush from becoming president.

In this wickedly comic, cross-country, time-bending journey, John confronts his own—and the nation’s—blunders, learning that a second chance at changing things for the better also brings new opportunities to screw them up. Through edgy humor, time travel, and droll one-liners, Bob Smith examines family dysfunction, suicide, New York City, and recent American history while effortlessly blending domestic comedy with science fiction. Part acidic political satire, part wild comedy, and part poignant social scrutiny, Remembrance of Things I Forgot is an uproarious adventure filled with sharp observations about our recent past.

“His characters are brilliantly drawn, the dialogue is Preston Sturges deft, the political satire is damning without being shrill, and you will absolutely cry when you read the last line. How did Smith do that? I didn’t think it was possible to be a bigger fan of Bob Smith’s than I already was, but I am.” —David Rakoff, author of Fraud

Bob Smith
is author of the bestselling humorous memoirs Openly Bob (winner of a Lambda Literary Award) and Way to Go, Smith and the novel Selfish and Perverse, which was one of three finalists for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. As a standup comic, he broke barriers as the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and was featured in his own HBO comedy special. His comic essays and articles have appeared in The Advocate and Out. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and lives in New York City.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

The cover of Smith's book is illustrated with a black and white photo of a wide-eyed boy in his early teens.

June 2011

LC: 2010046335 PS
272 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

Book icon
Cloth $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28340-7
E-book logo e-book $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28343-8
  Adobe Digital Edition (PDF)
About our e-books
Printing and cut/paste allowed, access on six different devices.
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

The Terrace logo is Badger red, and shaped like a Terrace chair inside a book.
A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

“Smith’s characters are thankfully free of the stock stereotype machinations found in blander gay fictions. Instead they’re instantly likeable guys stuck in a rut. His story allows them to relive and reinvent a long lost but much treasured era. By extension, readers get to relive this period as well, one fantastically evoked by Smith, who is fast becoming a gay fiction favorite.”

Bay Area Reporter

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated May 8, 2012

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System