Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Larry, Lay Down" by Aifric Campbell

"Larry, Lay Down" by Aifric Campbell  (2010, 13 pages)

Irish Short Story Month III
March 1 to March 31

Aifric Campbell

Event Resources-links to lots of Irish short stories-from classics to those written in 2013.  

"Larry, Lay Down" by Aifric Campbell is a very interesting story about a man sort of bored with his not bad at all life who buys himself an expensive camera and starts to find that taking pictures unleashes creative and other feelings he did not know he had.  It is also a story of a man struggling and perhaps failing to come to terms with his sexual feelings.  He enrolls in a photography class.  The teacher tells them to take pictures of the people in your life or even of your cat.  Larry things there is really nobody in my life and I do not have a cat. He encounters Harrison, a young man who poses nude for the classes.  His appearance is something like that of a Calvin Klein underwear model.   He sees Larry looking at him and he tells him his number is on the school bulletin board if he needs a model.

Larry is somehow made uncomfortable initially by Harrison.  In the meantime his photography does open him up to seeing interest and beauty in things he had taken for granted before.   He does call Harrison and becomes obsessed with photographing him and they become close companions.  We see nothing they really have in common.   Soon everywhere Larry goes he is seen as one of the important or at least interesting people because of his friendship with Harrison.  Harrison is openly gay and we get the feeling he has been hustling older men since he was at least fifteen.  There is no sense Larry is catching on that he has a sexual attraction for Harrison.   There is a hilarious scene straight out of a Andy Warhol short film with the Velvet Underground playing the in the background (OK think the movie Myra Breckenridge-you know the scene I mean if you have seen it) where Larry at least figures out what is behind his fascination with Harrison and things do not end well.

"Larry, Lay Down" was a very entertaining insightful story about somethings that are eternal and others that last no longer than a flash from an expensive digital camera that Larry cannot hardly even give away now.

For sure I enjoyed this story and would read more of the author's work.

Author Data (from her webpage)

Aifric grew up in Dublin and moved to Sweden where she worked as an au pair, completed a Linguistics degree and lectured in semantics at the University of Gothenburg. She spent 13 years as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in London where she became Managing Director and ran the International Convertible Bond Sales Desk .

She received her PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in 2007 where she has also lectured. She’s the recipient of an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a Thayer Fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles and writing residencies at Yaddo in New York.

Aifric has taught creative writing at UEA, University of Sussex and is currently teaching at Imperial College, London. Her writing has appeared in the Telegraph, The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Times, ELLE and Tatler.

You can learn more about her work on her webpage

I read this in New Irish Short Stories edited by Joseph O'Connor

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