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Scissors, paper, rock

Author: Fenton Johnson
Publisher: New York : Pocket Books, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
For the first time since he left his birthplace in Kentucky for San Francisco, Raphael Hardin has returned home alone. Before, he had always brought men with him on his visits, lovers with whom his mother had been "civil, even flirtatious," while his father retreated to his sacred workshop. Now his mother has died and, at age thirty-six, Raphael has come back to see his dying father, who knows and disapproves of
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Details

Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Frame stories
Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Johnson, Fenton.
Scissors, paper, rock.
New York : Pocket Books, ©1993
(OCoLC)624462229
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Fenton Johnson
ISBN: 0671795414 9780671795412
OCLC Number: 27430306
Description: 226 pages ; 23 cm
Responsibility: Fenton Johnson.

Abstract:

For the first time since he left his birthplace in Kentucky for San Francisco, Raphael Hardin has returned home alone. Before, he had always brought men with him on his visits, lovers with whom his mother had been "civil, even flirtatious," while his father retreated to his sacred workshop. Now his mother has died and, at age thirty-six, Raphael has come back to see his dying father, who knows and disapproves of Raphael's boyfriends but who is unaware that this, his youngest child, may be ill as well. Raphael's halting, often painful attempt to reconcile with his father forms the centerpiece of Fenton Johnson's astonishing novel - the second for a writer whose work The Chicago Tribune has called "as rich and Southern as fried-chicken gravy." At times funny, at times heartbreakingly poignant, Scissors, Paper, Rock explores with wisdom and humor the many kinds of family, the infinite varieties of love.

For nearly two centuries, the Hardins have considered Strang Knob - a community tucked into a westward-flung finger of the Appalachians - the center of their universe. On a day "when the clouds began to spit snow" Raphael's father, Tom Hardin, set mink traps with his bride-to-be, Rose Ella, and touched something in her heart forever by plunging into a flooded river to save a drowning dog. Throughout the raising of seven children, Rose Ella and Tom's love became a slipknot; the harder they strained at it, the tighter it bound them one to another.

But for their children, the Hardin household was both a nest of plain affection and a place to leave. Now when Tom speaks to his urbanized sons and daughters, he feels as if he's calling across a river of neckties and office lights. It falls on Miss Camilla Perkins, the Hardins' next door neighbor, to provide shelter for Raphael, who has been diagnosed with AIDS. In her home he hooks up his intravenous tube while his hungry heart feeds off the spinster's memories of a simpler, though never easy, era. Through the intricately interwoven stories of the Hardin parents and children, Scissors, Paper, Rock contrasts the families we inherit - our blood ties - with the families we choose, our partners in love and our friends. After making love with a childhood friend in his parents' backyard, Raphael muses: "Who are those who will remember him? Who will remember the artistic sons gone to distant cities to die of euphemisms?"

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