December 14th Selection: Crux: A Daughter's Quest for Her Border-Crossing Father
Winner of the PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize · A daughter's quest to understand her charismatic, troubled father, an immigrant who crosses borders both real and illusory—between sanity and madness, science and spirituality, life and death.
"Expressive and affecting...deeply researched and tightly written... Crux, at its heart, is [Jean] Guerrero's love letter to her dad." —NPR
In the tradition of parent-child memoirs, Enrique's Journey meets The Glass Castle, here is the haunting story of one daughter's mission to save her father from his demons and to save herself from self-destruction. Marco Antonio was raised in Mexico then migrated to California, where he met Jean's mother, a Puerto Rican woman just out of med school. Marco was a self-taught genius at fixing and creating things—including a mythology about himself as a shaman, rather than the failed provider he feared he was. Before long Marco goes on the run, taking his chances with crack and whiskey binges, suffering from what he claimed were CIA experiments. As soon as she's old enough, Jean follows.
Invoking her lifelong fixation with the fuzzy line between truth and fantasy, Jean seeks explanations for her father's behavior beyond schizophrenia, the hushed diagnosis spoken by her mother. She sincerely investigates Marco's wildest claims. She interviews family and discovers a chain of fabulists and mystics. But as she ventures deeper, her behavior begins mirroring her father's, and she risks everything to understand and redeem her father from the underworld of self-destruction--to bring him back to the world of the living.
This is the story of a child's search for an elusive parent--through exploration, analysis, and embodiment--but also a penetrating journey into the idea of borders and crossings: between cultures and languages, scientific worlds and mystical impulses, truth and fiction. Crux is both a riveting adventure story and a profoundly original exploration of the mysteries of our world, our most intimate relationships, and ourselves.