SOCIAL SCIENCES

Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir

One World. Jul. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780399592393. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399592409. MEMOIR
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Straddling the line between truth and fantasy, journalist Guerrero's memoir reads like a fever dream, full of mystery, magic, and not a little madness. The author blends an intriguing mix of factual reporting and near mythical storytelling as she digs into her father's past—his childhood trauma, addiction, paranoia, and eventual absence. Like Guerrero, readers start to wonder where the truth lies: Is her father the victim of a cruel government experiment? Is he schizophrenic? Is he cursed by a plague traced back to Guerrero's great-grandmother? The facts are confounding; they make you want to believe. In telling her family history, Guerrero seeks to find herself as much as the father she lost. Content warning for sexual and emotional violence and self-harm.
VERDICT An ode to a complicated family legacy, this hard-to-put-down narrative, rife with culture, myth, and politics, flows with a liminal quality that refuses to let go, enmeshing readers in the turbulence of modern-day Mexico.

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