An urgent, closely observed, deeply conflicted, elegant account . . . a winning blend of emotional intensity and elevated lyricism." (Los Angeles Times)
The New York Times Book Review praised A Stone Boat as "a shimmering remembrance of things past and a meditation on love and death." Newsday called it "intense and achingly beautiful."
Andrew Solomon tells an exquisitely perceptive story of family, identity, and the changes wrought by grief and loss. Harry, an internationally celebrated concert pianist, arrives in Paris to confront his glamorous mother about his homosexuality. Instead, he discovers that she is terminally ill. In an attempt to escape his feelings of guilt and depression at the prospect of her death, he embarks on a series of intense love affairs that force him to question his sexual identity. But as time runs out and tragedy looms closer, it is the relationship between Harry and his mother that emerges in all its stark simplicity and purity.
Part eulogy and part confession, A Stone Boat is a luminous and moving evocation of the love between a son and his mother.
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Andrew Solomon is the author of The Noonday Demon and The Ivory Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. A Stone Boat was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, ArtForum, and The New York Times Magazine.From Kirkus Reviews:
Love and death make dramatic entrances in this elegiac first novel by nonfiction writer Solomon (The Ivory Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost, 1991) about a young concert pianist who plays for time while his mother is dying of cancer. First-person narrator Harry is under 30, gay, and always striving for perfection in his music, his sexual partners, and his aesthetic rhetoric, with which he tries heroically (and sometimes pretentiously) to wring beauty from the ordinary while visiting stylish locations in London, Paris, and Manhattan. He observes the textures of flowers, different foods, the surfaces of bodies. Harry also picks a fight with his bland lover Bernard and has three intense affairs, one with a longtime female friend, to escape his depression over his mother's terminal illness. Early in the novel, she blames her suffering on his homosexuality and tries to manipulate him into a more conventional life style: ``I know you think you're being honest or true to yourself or something, but what you have with Bernard can't be greater than that combination of love and children that you could have with Helen or someone.'' The mother, still in her 50s, does not want to die early, but she also doesn't want her last days to be horrific. When chemotherapy does not appear to have halted the cancer, she plans her date with death as carefully as if it were a wedding, attending a party the week before in a grand show of matriarchal dignity as she climbs a staircase unassisted. ``One step at a time, regal as the Queen of Sheba, my mother climbed that staircase. The long rope of pearls swung slightly as she walked, as though it were telling time,'' writes Solomon in one particularly poignant passage. An elegant and moving examination of a difficult subject. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Plume. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0452274982 small shelf wear from being looked at in shop. Bookseller Inventory # SKU016129
Book Description Plume, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. This is a NEW Book. May show slight signs of shelf wear. Tracking is provided. Bookseller Inventory # 36368
Book Description Plume, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0452274982
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97804522749831.0
Book Description Plume, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110452274982
Book Description Plume. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0452274982 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0236269