På 70-talet försökte jag att lära mig att skriva noveller. Jag hade ägnat två år åt att bli en författare med något rykte. Men det var tufft och skapade en känsla av osäkerhet inför framtiden.
Med tiden lade jag idén på hyllan, skaffade arbete som sjukhusvaktmästare och tog en kandidatexamen i engelska och pedagogik. Jag gick en 4-terminskurs för mentalskötare. Därefter genomförde jag två års psykoterapi utbildning som kallas steg1, och flera korta studier i kognitiv terapi. Efter pensioneringen 2007 utförde jag samtalsterapi för depression—ångest—personligt stöd fram till 2015.
I februari 2016 kom min debutbok: Strangers In Another Country – en samling av två noveller och två noveller, tillgängliga i e-bok (på Bokus.com) och pocketbok på Amazon (Adlibris och Akademibokhandeln för tillfället).
Jag skrev endast en roman––Coming-of-Age (Making Sense Of Past Time)
Den här samlingen och resten av mina berättelser faller under litterär fiktion, förutom novellen Darker Than Blue – This Mortal Coil, en experimentell blandning av fantasy, dystopi och satir.
David frets about discrimination in the workplace but is rude and vain during a dispute with his girlfriend.
Charlie is a poet suffering from the blues and disillusioned with life. By chance, Charlie meets a new male friend who promises to set him up with a date.
Binky has romantic notions of women and love from Hollywood movies and some Shakespeare sonnets. Unemployed and only arrived in England a few months, he borrows money to venture on a holiday to breathe life into a half-baked romance for which he has high hopes despite his common sense.
Then there is Moby, an outsider struggling to come to grips with himself and others. His faith in black solidarity comes to a test when he runs into a black male American who needs somewhere to pass a few days. The main characters are migrants from the English-speaking Caribbean.
Themes include unattainable dreams, loneliness, alienation, disappointment and insufficient black solidarity. There is some humour to alleviate the frustration and pain in these stories. The question is whether this handful of fringe figures can lead a better life in a predominantly white country.
4.0 out of 5 stars
A collection of stories set in the 60's, written in the style of the 60's
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2016
Moby, the protagonist in the title story of Lawrence G Taylor's short fiction collection muses, "...life seems to be like that, not providing us with all the right things in one place." It's much the same with his collection of short fiction, "Strangers in Another Country.
If books that have less than perfect spelling or syntax easily agitate you, then "Strangers in Another Country" may not be for you. If however, you prize an honest voice and memorable characters that will remain with you long after you close the back cover, then this book has much to offer.
This series of two short stories and two novellas are all set in the 1960's and feature protagonists who have left homes in South America to live in Europe. These are not sympathetic characters you cheer for. Even knowing their insecurities and difficult backgrounds, they seem selfish and narcissistic. Sometimes you want to reach inside the pages and slap them, yet despite it all you can't help turning the pages to follow their journey.
But the real magic of this book is its style. There is a particular and recognizable sound and shape to the fiction written by men in the 60's. The voice, tone, pacing are all quite different than today's stories, and in this collection Taylor manages to brilliantly capture that 1960's narrative style. Within the first 10 pages I was entirely enchanted by this unexpected time travel.
I am impressed with the raw potential of these stories. I hope to see more of them.
THE BALLAD OF CALLE AND MAJA: A slice of romantic realism featuring two different interpretations of love. Maja sends crushes to Calle. He is flattered and smitten with Maja, but his fear prevents him from approaching her. They eventually became friends. Maya is involved in an unhappy relationship with Jose and has difficulty ending it. Calle intends to assist her in breaking the spell Jose has cast over her.
TWO GIRLS IN A CAFÉ: A young man is the subject of a contentious discussion between Felicity and Ruth. The two girls, one American and one British, were sitting in a café when they saw the young man walking down the street. They claim to have met him, but their opinions differ, regarding his personality. Amazon Review: “Contemporary, witty, honest and ironic.”
BINKY’S REVERIE: Binky is a young Caribbean man with a romantic streak, and Linda a young Swede. Following their close friendship in London, Linda invites Binky to Sweden for a holiday. Binky hopes that their friendship to blossom into something romantic. But there are no guarantees in love.
GETTING IT RIGHT, IF EVER: A romantic fantasy tale. Set in the early 70s in two fictitious nations. TeeGee and Vikland. Molly, age 45, invites Benji, age 40, to visit her homeland. Benji is overwhelmed and seizes his first opportunity to travel abroad. Then, one day, Benji sees a woman and becomes besotted with her beauty. His pursuit is anything but typical. What are his prospects?
TELL ME WHO MY ENEMY IS—a four-act closet drama, Berry (an Afro-West Indian) and Gun and Kerstin (two Swedish cronies) are socialising. Sam, the Afro-American in time, barges in on the trio. The two black men express contrasting perspectives on what’s it like to live in Sweden. Berry becomes belligerent towards Sam. The girls are taken aback by the men's squabbling and animosity towards one another. As time passes, the two Swedes become embroiled in a heated debate.
Review Rating: 5 Stars - Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite Four Bittersweet Romances & A Four-Act Closet Drama is a collection of short stories and dramatic works penned by author Lawrence G. Taylor.
As the title suggests, this work takes on a romantic theme and presents realistic romances with both the highs and lows of emotional sentiment. Centering especially on the cultural differences and intricacies of “All stories in this book are impressive, so different, yet making an indivisible whole.”– customer review
Making Sense of Past Time is a coming-of-age story of an idealistic young man’s attempt to escape his provincial hometown in pursuit of a life of enrichment.
Just age twenty, Harry could not know that leaving his country to enter another would place him in a state of total uprootedness and that success may not come his way. He hoped to fulfil his ambition of obtaining a better life and self-realisation.
Harry chronicles his fears of not amounting too much if he remained in Georgetown, Guyana, and struggles with his father. He was overjoyed to leave his provincial country for “greener pastures” in the big-city energy of London.
However, surprises were in store for him and challenging his character. He had difficulties finding employment, housing and happiness in the environment of racial discrimination in Great Britain during the early 1960s.
Life in London wasn’t everything he’d hoped it would be. “Living on the dole” from the Employment Exchange to “beating the tube” and learning to shoplift with a rough group of friends.
His idealistic pursuit of an authentic life runs into trouble and becomes contradictory, compelling him to make compromises along the way.
This saga is full of humour, youthful passion, and dreams and allows the reader to glimpse the British class system and the social life of immigrant London. Harry Holmes’s story involves introspection, self-flagellation, irony, determination, and perseverance.
Follow Harry as he makes another attempt by quitting London for Stockholm and meeting Nordic people whose way of life is a mixture of reservedness and hospitality. He faces challenging times again––most of all, a new language.
BOOK REVIEW — Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Making Sense of Past Time: A Novel by Lawrence G. Taylor is an exciting story that reflects the reality faced by millions of young migrants, especially those from black communities. Born and raised in the Caribbean with an authoritative father, the anxious and restless Harry decides to seek opportunities abroad while nurturing the dream of becoming a ship’s captain one day. He sets out for London to ultimately begin his journey to the United States. Follow a story filled with realism to discover the challenges he faces along the way and how the experiences shape him. But can he eventually become the man he’s always wanted to be?
Lawrence G. Taylor crafts a narrative that is deceptively simple in plot structure but with a sophisticated protagonist and themes that capture the reality of what it feels like to experience racism.
“In London, I’d learnt what it was like to be black and a second-class citizen. A couple of practices, customs appeared questionable during my work search and rented lodgings.”
The narrative is replete with social and cultural commentaries that give readers powerful insights into social constructs and race relationships. The underlying conflict is personal and primarily internal, a young man’s struggle to redefine himself in a society that wants him to be someone he is not. The competition is introduced from the very opening of the novel.
Readers meet a young man who left his country frustrated to try his luck in another. Making Sense of Past Time: A Novel is told in a solid first-person narrative voice that forces the reader to see the world from the protagonist's viewpoint. It is confident, the prose is excellent, and the setting elements are skilfully written into the story. Making Sense of Past Time is both entertaining and inspiring.
The Ballad of Calle & Maja offers two different ideas of love.
In Two Girls in a Café, there is a toss-up after the girls claim to know a young man.
In The Eternal Struggle, James searches for the right woman, meets Maud and takes a bumpy ride.
A Day in the Life of Charlie Cheddar is a lonely and frustrated poet who longs for a woman in his life. A new friend vows to change his fate.
Benji is a poet from an imaginary Caribbean island, in Getting It Right If Ever. He befriends a Swedish woman and seizes the opportunity to visit Sweden. The love relationship does not work well, however. Later, he becomes infatuated with another woman with a complicated love life. Benji remains optimistic about gaining the affection of the woman.
Strangers In Another Country is about a young Caribbean man's life as an outsider in a predominantly white environment where racial discrimination is difficult to discern. Moby is reluctant to succumb to a victim's image.
Darker than Blue - This Mortal Coil is a conglomeration of fantasy, comedy and satire. The appearance of inhabitants and their status quo range from pink, yellow, brown, and black. Boy Blue is an antihero, but a giant burdened with seasonal depression and personal misfortune. He faces ten years in prison for imaginary rape, unless he signs up for Dr Google's experimental vaccine. Democracy is a hero struggling to survive against autocracy orchestrated by evil forces.
Tell Me Who My Enemy Is is a 4-act closet drama. A West Indian and Afro-American are not close friends. They have contradictory views on how black people should live in Sweden. Berry is proud to be a hospital porter. Sam describes himself as an art student. There is a dispute between the two men, of which Gun (Bank clerk) and Kerstin (auxiliary nurse) try to make sense. Both girls are Berry’s friends.
These stories have been published before, some as singles, others in a collection.
Review Rating: 4 Stars Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Relationships can be complicated, but sometimes people make them complicated. When Betty rescues an abandoned puppy off the busy streets of London, she hopes her partner will understand, but he’s gone through some difficult relationships and the thought of a little puppy coming between them isn’t what he wants. What it really boils down to is respect. ...The puppy is just a means, or, as Betty puts it, a “spectacle,” to open her eyes to who and what her partner really is.If one partner can’t respect the other, there is no point in trying to nurture the relationship. But there are other kinds of relationships, too: relationships between women and between men, not just between a man and a woman. Relationships define the people we are and it takes a clever storyteller to weave the magic of a good plot around multiple varieties of relationships. That’s what readers will find in Lawrence G. Taylor’s Short Stories, Novellas: A Closet Drama. Each story is well developed, using an effective descriptive narrative and believable dialogue. Tell Me Who My Enemy Is is a four-act play that begins with a list of characters and character highlights, a brief setting description, and then launches into the drama itself. The plot follows two men, a West Indian and an Afro-American, as they discuss their differing views on how black people really should live in Sweden – an interesting and diverse theme that many would view as timely. The author has a keen sense of plot and character development and tells a good story.
Moby är en av flera karibiska människor som flyttade till Sverige i slutet av sextiotalet, och blev en del av den svarta diasporan. Han är ganska nöjd med sitt liv i en homogen svensk kultur med enstaka gnäll om små saker. Moby låtsas ignorera rasdiskriminering som riktas mot honom. Han känner sig frustrerad i samband med svensk förnekelse.
Han vägrar dock att tro att hans klagomål ofta berott på hans fantasi.
Moby tycker om att dejta mer än en kvinna åt gången. Han har problem med långa engagemang i relationer. Han blir lätt uttråkad, vilket kan vara rädsla för engagemang eller ett personlighetsfel.
Moby har ett hopp om svart solidaritet, vilket sätts på prov när han stöter på en svart amerikan som är i trubbel och behöver hjälp. Är det önsketänkande eller kommer Moby att förbli trogen sitt hopp?