Along with his siblings, Raphael Hardin left his childhood home in rural Kentucky. Grappling with an AIDS diagnosis, he returns to care for his dying father. Told from the perspectives of Raphael, his family, and their lifelong neighbor, Fenton Johnson's landmark novel reveals the blood struggles and binding loves of a broken family made whole.
"Memory, love, grief, death and desire: these are the stuff of Fenton Johnson's... powerfully moving novel." -- New York Times Book Review
"The emotional power of Scissors, Paper, Rock resides on a plot of land in Kentucky.... [It] chronicles the courtships, the births, the deaths and the agonizing disappointments of two generations of the Hardins of Strang Knob... Scissors, Paper, Rock is a seductive rumination on the ways that memory can torment or soothe, and sometimes do both at the same time." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Read the eleven brief pieces of this brilliant novel and you'll never again hear its title phrase without feeling chills.... Emotional jolts lurk on every page.... Every few pages you'll pause, realizing you've just read one of the best paragraphs you've ever come across. Yes, the book's about dying, but in the same way that birthday parties are about growing old." -- Entertainment Weekly
"I finished Scissors, Paper, Rock in an unstoppable burst of enthralled reading last night. It is a wonderful book." -- Richard Howard, poet and professor of creative writing, Columbia University