Scissors, Paper, Stone

What is family, and who gets to define it? In 1964, Catherine and Jonathan adopt an infant girl from Korea. This unconventional choice brings disapproval from Catherine’s family, which creates an even closer bond between her and her daughter. Narrated in alternating chapters by Catherine, her daughter Min, and Min’s best friend Laura, SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE spans twenty years of love, losses, and the complex realities of female relationships. By 1985, Catherine is living a risk-free life on her own accord, Laura is dating her way through college, and Min is a massage therapist who has come out as lesbian and is learning to embrace her Korean heritage. After Min and Laura take a summer road trip together, the shifts in their friendship force all three women to examine the assumptions they’ve been living by and to make choices about the roles they want to play in each other’s lives.


“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 . . . 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, 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

An abstract design of circles, triangles and squares, one of the circles made up of a map and white script that reads Scissors Paper Stone a novel by Martha K. Davis.

Martha K. Davis

Publication Date: April 16, 2018

Genre/Imprint: Fiction, Quill

$16.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-046-9


Realizing Queer Kinship

Martha K. Davis’ SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE was recently reviewed by Gertrude Press’ Jess Travers. The novel, narrated in alternating chapters by Catherine, her adopted daughter Min, and Min’s best friend […]