Monday, March 2, 2020

Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson

"Which is better, the world as it is or the world as we need and want it to be?"

This is the question that informs this brilliant novel--this collection of linked stories about of two generations of a rural Kentucky family. Memories, loves, griefs, and death  are skillfully intertwined in these eleven pieces--each a moving short story that stands on its own--but the sum of the individual pieces is far more. 

A son, himself dying of AIDS, returns home to care for the dying father he has never been able to come out to. Their stories and others weave and circle to a masterful conclusion.

There are profound truths here. "History is memory's skin, under pulses the blood and guts of our real lives. Our stories are a way of fashioning a surface with which we can live, that we may present to our neighbors, our friends, our children (especially these last.) The truth lies not in the facts of the story but in the longings that set them in motion."

I loved this novel--for itself, mainly, but also because I've been working on what I hope will be a novel of interconnected stories and reading Scissors, Paper, Rock has given me a much better insight of how to make it come together.

Very highly recommended.

More about this excellent book and its author HERE.


Barbara Rogers said...

Looking forward to this book! Thanks.

Tara said...

this book sounds wonderful, so thank you for the recommendation. that quote, YES.

Thérèse said...

Thanks for this interesting recommandation Vicki.