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Paperback, 6″ x 9″
243 pages
ISBN 978-1-63381-327-4

by Scott Dickerson

 Why did they create art on cave walls 23,500 years ago? Who were these Paleolithic hunter-gatherers? How did they live? What did they believe?

Okyo, a young man, tells stone by carving with flint tools and painting with powdered rock to honor animals that sustain or threaten the band, and to confront the power of darkness deep in their cave. As unconventional as his art, he is constrained by his band’s strict traditions. Accused to be a man apart, he leaves to wander remote terrain, painting and carving on stone walls where he shelters, but he never abandons his hope to live and create with his own band.

His hope to find a hearthmate is conflicted by another tradition: If he finds her, he must live with her band. Will his art be embraced by them?

Richly imagined, founded on archaeological discoveries and Ice Age ecology, Telling Stone is about the origins of art and the lives of these earliest artists.

* * *

…the challenges met by Dickerson in writing this novel—imagining their vocabulary and thoughts, their response to conflict and sexuality, becoming hearthmates—made me wonder if this early art is witness to the first evolutionary glimpses of the human soul…

—Priscilla Platt, librarian, author

…extraordinarily creative, it took me to another place and time…I dwelled there for a time…the characters and plot kept me turning pages…

—Alison Dibble, artist, ecologist, author

…the interjected stream of mindeye, art of the hunt, and portrait of the artist as a young man harmonize into a compelling story…

—John Guarnaccia, conservation biologist

…I lost myself imagining prehistoric life and the origins of art through these engaging characters…

—Kristen Lindquist, poet


Scott Dickerson is a conservation biologist, hunter and gatherer, artist, and designer and maker of fine furniture. He lives on a small farm in coastal Maine where he herds muskmelons and celebrates sweet corn. His first book, To Save a River (Aperture, 2002), tells the story of endan­gered Atlantic salmon in a Maine river. Telling Stone is his first novel.

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