The Long Hallway is about growing up queer, closeted, and afraid. Richard Scott Larson found expression for his interior life in horror films, especially John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, Halloween. He developed an intense childhood identification with Michael Myers, Carpenter’s inscrutable masked villain, as well as Michael’s potential victims. Larson scrutinizes this identification, meditating on horror as a metaphor for the torments of the closet.

Larson was only nine years old when he recognized something of his own experience in how Michael Myers hid his true face from the world. This spark of recognition ignited his imagination while he searched for clues to what the future might hold for boys like him, all the while being made to understand his nascent sexuality as deviant and punishable. Like in the movies, his superficially safe suburban childhood was in fact filled with threat: a classmate’s murder, his father’s alcoholism and death, and his own sexual assault by a much older man. The figurative mask Larson learned to wear could not contain his yearning to be seen and desired. In the aftermath of this violence, his boyhood self came to believe that fear and desire would be forever intertwined.

This lyrical memoir expresses a boy’s search for identity while navigating the darkness and isolation of a deeply private inner world. With introspection and tenderness, Larson reflects on how little we understand in the moment about the experiences that mark us forever.

Available from University of Wisconsin Press

Richard Scott Larson is a queer writer and critic. He has received fellowships from MacDowell and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and his creative and critical work has appeared in The Sun MagazineLos Angeles Review of BooksHarvard Review, and other journals and anthologies. He lives in Brooklyn.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.