Set amidst the outsider worlds of present-day downtown New York, 1990s Los Angeles, and 1940s Mexico City, Like Son is the not-so-simple story of a love-blindness shared between a father and a son. Born a bouncing baby girl named Francisca Cruz, Frank Cruz is now a post-punk thirty-year-old who has inherited his dead father’s wanderlust, unrequited love, and hyperbolic tendencies.
Felicia Luna Lemus is the author of the novel Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and her writing has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including A Fictional History of the United States with Huge Chunks Missing (Akashic Books). She currently teaches writing at The New School and lives in the East Village of Manhattan.
Chaos and fate are hopelessly intertwined in this exuberant second novel from Lemus (Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties). Frank Cruz born as a girl named Francisca, but living and identifying as a man is a loner from Southern California. His father, diagnosed with terminal cancer, offers Frank tragic stories of the Cruz family, a key to a safe deposit box and an arresting 1924 photograph of a beautiful woman named Nahui Olin, a bohemian Mexican artist/poet from an aristocratic background. Frank (who narrates) learns that Nahui had many lovers, lived transgressively and was endlessly wooed. When his father dies, Frank sets off for New York and lands in the East Village, where he meets and falls in love with Nathalie; she eerily reminds him of Nahui, whose face and history have now obsessed him. Their relationship is solid until the horror of September 11 throws them into chaos and sadness that tests their relationship, and Frank's self-image. With her blunt prose, Lemus doesn't waste a word in this smart, never sentimental identity novel.