Two, Two, Lily-White Boys

Two, Two, Lily-White Boys

by Geoffrey Clark
     
 

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Two, Two, Lily-White Boys follows the fortunes of two 14-year-old Scouts from Ermine Falls—Larry Carstairs, the narrator, and Andy Dellums, Larry’s schoolmate and friend—over the course of six days at Camp Greavy, a Boy Scout camp not far from Traverse City, Michigan. The story’s catalyst and Andy’s tormentor is Russell

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Overview

Two, Two, Lily-White Boys follows the fortunes of two 14-year-old Scouts from Ermine Falls—Larry Carstairs, the narrator, and Andy Dellums, Larry’s schoolmate and friend—over the course of six days at Camp Greavy, a Boy Scout camp not far from Traverse City, Michigan. The story’s catalyst and Andy’s tormentor is Russell “Curly” Norrys, a worldly, charismatic 17-year-old, a homophobe who suspects that Andy is a homosexual. Mercurial, protean, possibly sociopathic, Curly engineers conflicts that accelerate as the days wear on, eventually culminating in tragedy. Passive-aggressive Larry, moved to action at last, must choose between self-preservation and justice.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In this classic story of male adolescence and homophobia, Clark writes with seemingly effortless clarity—clarity of narrative, sentence, meaning, and character—and this short, richly packed novel may well be his masterpiece.”
—DeWitt Henry, author of Sweet Dreams

“In this rite of passage story set at a Boy Scout summer camp, Clark’s protagonist, Larry Carstairs, meets up with Curly Norrys, a curious blend of humor, intellectual acumen, nihilism, and sheer malevolence. Clark makes us feel, full strength, Larry’s struggle with the nature of ambiguity. Clark’s fiction here, as elsewhere, is a compelling mix of straight realism and black humor.”
—Jack Smith, author of Hog to Hog

“It’s the rare adolescent who doesn’t experience some trepidation that the real contest he might confront—perchance with fateful consequences—at a summer camp for boys will not occur on its athletic fields or at the lakeside swimming heats and canoe trials. Geoffrey Clark’s Two, Two, Lily-White Boys soberly pierces the Scout Camp Greavey’s character-building scrim of perseverance, steadfastness, and patriotism to reveal what disquiets the minds and hearts of those about to enter the straits of manhood.
 
With striking verisimilitude he illumines Larry Carstairs’ week away from his Michigan home when a tragic incident impels him to jettison the comfortable precepts and indivisibility of childhood for the ambiguities and dark uncertainties coincidental to becoming an adult.  
 
One emerges from this evocative work recalling that daunting passage in past time when we ceased to reason like a child and put childish ways behind us.”
—Dennis Must, author of Oh, Don’t Ask Why and Banjo Grease

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597092272
Publisher:
Red Hen Press
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Edition description:
1
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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Meet the Author

When he’s not writing about misplaced Michiganders in Rhode Island, Geoffrey Clark’s fiction mostly takes place in rural northern lower Michigan. Clark’s narratives tend to contain rites of passage—dark comedies that often end with disturbing results and moral ambiguities. Clark’s protagonists mount a struggle against brutality and ignorance as they seek to discover heir own moral paths.
 
Clark’s eight full-length works include Schooling the Spirit, Jackdog Summer, Wedding in October, and Necessary Deaths. He has published short fiction in Ploughshares, Mississippi Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Witness, and The Green Hills Literary Lantern, where he is presently a member of the editorial board.
 
Geoffrey Clark retired as Professor of Creative Writing at Roger Williams University in 1999. He lives in Warren, Rhode Island.

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