‘Still Life’ by KJ Orr

Among the sumptuousness and flourish of a Dutch still life, there is often a memento mori: a game-bird draped lifeless over the edge of a lavishly set table; a fly on the blushing cheek of an apple; a tulip hanging limp-stemmed, shedding petals. In this story, a father struggles to make sense of his daughter’s stilled life when she is struck with an inexplicable sickness just as she should be coming into bloom. Like the Dutch masterworks, Orr’s ‘Still Life’ is all the more poignant for being so perceptively and pitilessly observed. 

First published in Light Box, Daunt Books, 2016

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