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A Stone Boat

Part eulogy and part confession, A Stone Boat is a luminous and moving evocation of the love between a son and his mother.

A Stone Boat, by Andrew Solomon. Scribner, 2013. (originally published 1994).

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. 


More Praise for A Stone Boat

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize

“The novel’s tone is intimate and deeply moving, with so many well-crafted turns of phrase that I found it, in my delight, almost impossible to put down.” — Philip Culbertson, New Zealand Herald

“Harry’s struggle to cope with his parent’s impending death is observed with passion and conviction.” — Publishers Weekly

“Solomon’s story, of a young man loving his mother and losing her to cancer, sidesteps the clichés… Solomon’s greatest triumph in this first novel is his sympathy.” — Robin Blake, The Independent

“Love and death make dramatic entrances in this elegiac first novel… An elegant and moving examination of a difficult subject.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A Stone Boat is a small, elegant novel that asks a big, thorny question: how do we love unconditionally, but not blindly?” — Hannah Gersen, The Millions



Turkish: Taş Tekne
Translator: Püren Özgören. Istanbul: Özgür Yayınları, 1995.

French: Le Vaisseau de Pierre
Translator: Françoise Du Sorbier. Paris: Albin Michel, 2002.

Dutch: Een Boot Van Steen
Translator: Dennis Keesmaat. Amsterdam: Anthos, 2003.

Polish: Kamienna łódź
Translator: Jacek Spólny. Poznań: Zysk i S-ka, 2006.

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