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About the author

Lawrence F. Farrar spent seventeen years in Japan as a naval officer, graduate student, and diplomat (multiple tours). In his final Tokyo assignment, he served as the Embassy’s Minister for Political Affairs. In addition to postings in Germany and Norway, he also held Washington jobs such as Director of UN Political Affairs and Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A Dartmouth graduate with a Stanford degree in Japanese studies, he also taught Japanese history at the university level. During government service, he traveled to thirty-five countries. Farrar says, “I spent a lot of time climbing in and out of airplanes in places I never heard of growing up in Minnesota. And I loved it. I have stories to share, so now I’m writing.”    


Not surprisingly, many of his stories have a Japan setting or Japan connection.  He says, “I am especially drawn to stories of people who find themselves running up against the cultural norms of a foreign society.” After years in the vineyards of government expository writing, he says creative writing has turned out to be a lot of fun. Farrar’s stories have appeared more than eighty times in literary magazines. Some examples: The MacGuffin, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Tampa Review, Big Muddy, Blue Lake Review, Zone 3, Main Street Rag, Straylight, Foreign Literary, Evening Street Review, Streetlight, New Plains Review, and other publications. In addition to producing more short fiction, he is busy revising a draft novel, also set in Japan. Farrar lives in Minnesota with his wife, Keiko. 

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A 14-year-old boy goes on a fishing trip to a Minnesota lake with a former grade school classmate. He has been reluctant to make the outing, perhaps with good reason.


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Blue Lake Review 

(December 2021) 

Carl had just turned fifty-five and awaited promotion. Instead, he overheard fellow employees discuss the need for "older workers" like him to make way for younger people.



Ponder Review 

(December 2021)

After years of waiting, the boy finally received an electric train. It was Christmas Eve.

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Reunion: The Dallas Review

(December 2021)

There's them that live in big houses on the island, and there's us that live here in the village.

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KEEPING SCORE Streetlight Podcast (2015)

A man’s loss of a role in his bowling group means more to him than even he realizes.

A short story performed by Jennifer Sims.

Read the story online: Keeping Score by Lawrence Farrar

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Haunted Waters Press (2021)

Laurie Kittredge, a waitress in a New Mexico roadside restaurant, appears to have received an inheritance for a kindness rendered to a down-and-out traveler. But, after a series of misfortunes, it looks as if she has only one more fleeting opportunity to claim her reward.


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Evening Street Review (2021)

Soon after WWII, a Japanese exchange student evokes mixed reactions in a small Wisconsin town. Like the child in a Japanese folk song, the girl experiences utter loneliness. Mono no aware - the pathos of things.

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Haunted Waters Press (2021)

An out-of-worker drifter is on the road with his family. Along the way, he devises a method to use his little boy to con motorists in gas stations who think they've struck the child with their cars. It's risky business.

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The Write Launch (2020) 

Tokyo, 1936. A military coup seems imminent. Even more concerning for Dr. Peter McGowan, however, is the challenge he confronts in his attempt to rescue a childhood tag-along, Sumiko Yamada, from a life of forced prostitution.

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Blood Orange Review (2019)

An American embassy in the early 1960s and the times they were a changing. Confronting a domineering ambassador’s wife, embassy spouses have some choices to make. If they assert their independence, what follows? A new role for spouses in the conduct of foreign relations. But tradition still has a strong grip. Now what?

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Bryant Literary Review (2019)

Living in Europe, an American businessman seeks to free himself of his wife and two children by sending them back to America. But a tragedy occurs. Will it produce remorse? Relief?

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Blue Lake Review (2018)

A stop-over in Tokyo for a Korean War veteran stirs old memories. Is the Japanese girl still alive? Forty years later, will she remember him?

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South 85 Journal (2017)

A full-of-himself student at an upscale New England college fears his visiting parents will prove to be an embarrassment. Perhaps he himself will prove to be the embarrassment.

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O-Dark-Thirty (2016)

In Okinawa, an unreliable narrator describes his version of a crime committed long before during the rough and tumble years after World War II. Murder, rape, hidden treasure—it’s all there.

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Eastlit (2014)

An American academic conducting research rents a house in Kamakura, Japan. In time, he develops a distant friendship with his reclusive Japanese neighbor. The man appears to be hiding something. The American pursues the truth and might wish he had not.

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Flyleaf (2013)

A lonely San Diego bachelor opens the door of his house and finds a young woman standing there. She says her Japanese mother was his girlfriend 25 years before when he served at Yokota Air Force Base. She declares he is her father. Is she telling the truth? Perhaps he doesn’t care.

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Prairie Winds (2013)

An act of kindness by a waitress in a roadside restaurant appears to have earned a great reward. But an innocent act by a co-worker places the prospect of a pay-off in hazard.

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Notebook and Pen

by Lawrence Farrar


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