“[A] classic story of male adolescence and homophobia . . . this short, richly packed novel may well be [Clark’s] masterpiece.” —DeWitt Henry, author of Falling
Two, Two, Lily-White Boys follows the fortunes of two fourteen-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 seventeen-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.
“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 If Winter Comes
“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 . . . 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 Banjo Grease