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A Stone Boat

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The debut novel, first published nearly twenty years ago, from the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression and Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identitya luminous and moving evocation of the love between a son and his mother.

A finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction prize, A Stone Boat is an achingly beautiful, deeply perceptive story of family, sexuality, and the startling changes wrought by grief, loss, and self-discovery.

Harry, an internationally celebrated young concert pianist, travels to Paris to confront his glamorous and formidable mother about her dismay at his homosexuality. Before he can give voice to his hurt and anger, he discovers that she is terminally ill. In an attempt to escape his feelings of guilt and despair over the prospect of her death, he embarks on several intense affairs—one with a longtime female friend—that force him to question his capacity for love, and finally to rediscover it.

Part eulogy, part confession, and part soliloquy on forgiveness, A Stone Boat is a luminous evocation of the destructive and regenerative, all-encompassing love between a son and his mother, by America’s foremost chronicler of personal and familial resilience.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 03, 1994 – Though he's a rising classical pianist recording his first CD, Harry is experiencing ``the saddest period of my life.'' His mother is dying of cancer and she blames her illness on his homosexuality. ``My mother wanted me to have a perfect life, more perfect even than hers,'' Harry, who's in his mid-20s, observes in his wish to be seen as both a good son and an independent man. What he's keeping secret from his mother, however, is that, inspired by his attraction to a female friend, he's becoming aware of his fundamental bisexuality. Solomon's prose is stylish, sometimes beautiful, but it suffers from a vagueness that hovers about the relationships it describes (``When something saddened me, she came and joined me in my pain,'' says Harry of his mother). The characters live in a world of upper-class homes and hotels in Paris, London and Manhattan, with weekends in country homes and maids and chauffeurs at their disposal, a backdrop of privilege that sometimes edges into preciousness (``I associate my mother's entire illness with cut flowers,'' Harry notes). Yet the contrast between the idyllic existence money can buy and the inexorable ugliness of death is poignantly obvious. Harry's struggle to cope with his parent's impending death is observed with passion and conviction. Solomon (The Ivory Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost), a senior writer for the New York Times Magazine, shows great promise in his fiction debut.
A Stone Boat
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  • $3.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Gay
  • Published: Jun 04, 2013
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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