Scissors, Paper, Stone


Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Red Hen Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Martha K. Davis is a writer, editor, and teacher living in San Diego, California. Her short stories and essays have appeared in CALYX, The Gay & Lesbian Review, River Styx, Stone Canoe, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University.


"With Scissors, Paper, Stone, Martha K. Davis has given us an ambitious coming of (lesbian) age story that is a movingly honest inquiry into the messy, yet still beautiful, transmogrification of what it means to be a family in a post-WWII America ruptured by racism, homophobia, . . . and the generational divide. The character of Cathy, the idealistic and unsuspecting . . . single mother of an adopted Korean child, is one for the ages: a vessel for all the good intentions and fumbling contradictions of her time."--Celeste Gainey, author of the GAFFER, final judge for the 2016 Quill Award

"Martha K. Davis writes with rare insight and compassion about the evolving American family and the struggle to belong. Scissors, Paper, Stone is a wise and affecting novel."--Hilma Wolitzer, author of The Doctor's Daughter and An Available Man
"The story is told in the alternating voices of Catherine, Min, and Min's longtime best friend, Laura, and covers 21 years, from 1964 to '85. Set in the predominantly white San Francisco suburb in which the family lives, it addresses numerous additional topics--Min's coming out as a lesbian, her parents' divorce, the creation of dozens of LGBTQ institutions that developed to challenge homophobia, and the difficulties that all young people face as they attempt to navigate long-term relationships. Min's sexuality--some scenes are pretty graphic--and the tensions that arise between her and Catherine combine to make the novel an intense and compelling read. A terrific bildungsroman featuring three women who are by turns fascinating and bewildering but ultimately worth championing."--Kirkus Reviews
Review of SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE from Amos Lassen Reviews--Amos Lassen
"A compelling family drama resonant with feminist and queer issues, Martha K. Davis's Scissors, Paper, Stone neatly captures the grit of intimacy as relationships expand and contract...Davis sustains a beautiful tension between the women. Despite all that distances them, they're in each other's lives for good or ill. Like the children's game of the title, they come together, face off, and drift apart, though at heart they're a set, compelled to find the parts that complete it in each other, even if their connections are attended by confrontation." --Foreword Reviews--Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers "LITERARY / LGBT FICTION "
"Davis's debut novel, Scissors, Paper, Stone, delivers intergenerational, women-centered narratives that illustrate how close personal connections can be realized in wonderfully idiosyncratic ways. Each of these stories is told in first-person, giving readers intimate access to the outward and inward experiences of three women. Catherine's, Min's, and Laura's narratives are told in graceful, though not overly flowery, prose. These characters are dynamic; their spoken and inner dialogues are believable; and their worlds are simultaneously distinct and relatable. The sentence-level writing in the book makes it an enjoyable read, but it's the overarching themes that make the novel especially compelling. The subject I find most pressing is how each storyline ruptures the construct of kinship. Catherine's story troubles the idea that familial bonds necessarily be tethered by biological connection. Laura's story illustrates an element of curation in family-building. And Min's story demonstrates how tribes can be organized around desire, making way for a refreshing kind of queer kinship." ----JESS TRAVERS "Realizing Queer Kinship "