Geoffrey Clark was born and raised in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. He is a graduate of the Writers’ Workshop and has published fiction in Ploughshares, Mississippi Review, Witness, Flying Horse, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and elsewhere. He is author of seven works of fiction, among them Schooling the Spirit (Asylum Arts 1993) and Jackdog Summer (Hi Jinx 1996). He retired as professor of creative writing at Roger Williams University in 1999 and lives in Warren, Rhode Island.
Two, Two, Lily-White Boys
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
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.
Praise for Two, Two, Lily-White Boys:
“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
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Necessary Deaths is the collection of short stories by Geoffrey Clark.
Adroitly told, Geoffrey Clark’s collection of stories Necessary Deaths will appeal to anyone who has faced difficult choices regarding the care of animals. Mr. Clark’s characters struggle to learn how to let go and confront loss. His stories examine the themes of violation of innocence, and the acceptance of required acts of violence. His characters live with animals and care for them. Through the transcendent experience of that care, they must face assumptions they’ve been living with regarding what is natural and right with and around them. As either victims or perpetrators of violence, the characters in these stories are forced to ask themselves if violence is inherent in their condition. Mr. Clark avoids glib, over-worked metaphors, and as a writer with five decades of stories behind him, he renders internal and external landscapes of his stories through a knack for the bon mot that enlightens, startles and illuminates. Peppered with trenchant details, cadenced in a laconic, sometimes very funny Mid-western narrative voice, each story resonates long after it’s been read. The stories are polished without being pompous, and charged with a vivid, consistent accuracy. The best, culled from earlier collections, poignantly evoke a time gone by in northern Michigan during the post World War II years, and Mr. Clark addresses without nostalgia the hardscrabble innocence and complexities of rural life in that region and era. There is authenticity, skill and subtlety in the telling. Mr. Clark does not disappoint; he deserves a wide readership.
— John Flynn is author of Something Grand, a collection of stories, and several volumes of poetry and translations.
Wedding in October
Publication Date: May 1, 2002
“Wedding in October is a rich and gorgeous novel, deeply rooted in memory, delicately constructed, filled with subtle and compelling characters. While grappling with universal themes and events, Geoffrey Clark creates a world that is unmistakably Midwestern: fertile and expansive, plain-spoken and harshly beautiful. Wedding in October will lay claim to readers’ minds and hearts, its hold both gentle and utterly tenacious.”—Susan Dodd
“Geoffrey Clark formulated into words those sublime experiences that habitually leave no trace in the compartments of our consciousness save a film whose images have silvered.”—Dennis Must