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Jean Guerrero pops-up with her new book, Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir.
Guerrero will be paired with Obsessions by Tomioka Tessai in the Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art exhibit, found on the 1st floor of the Portland Art Museum. Please reference the Portland Art Museum Map to find this location.
A daughter’s quest to understand her charismatic and troubled father, an immigrant who crosses borders both real and illusory—between sanity and madness, science and spirituality, life and death.
Throughout Jean Guerrero’s childhood, her father, Marco Antonio, was an erratic and elusive presence. A self-taught genius at fixing, creating, and conjuring things—and capable of transforming himself into a shaman, dreamcaster, or animal whisperer in his enchanted daughter’s eyes—he gradually began to lose himself in his peculiar obsessions, careening wildly between reality and hallucination.
In this lyrical, haunting memoir, Jean Guerrero tries to locate the border between truth and fantasy as she searches for explanations for her father’s behavior. She crisscrosses the Mexican-American border to unearth the stories of cousins and grandparents and discovers a chain of fabulists and mystics in her lineage, going back to her great-great-grandmother, a clairvoyant curandera who was paid to summon spirits from the afterlife. As she delves deeper and deeper into her family’s shadowy past, Jean begins mirroring her father’s self-destructive behavior. She risks death on her adventures, imperiling everything in her journey to redeem her father from the underworld of his delusions.
In the tradition of engrossing family memoirs like The Liar’s Club and The Glass Castle, Crux is both a riveting adventure story and a profoundly original exploration of the human psyche, the mysteries of our most intimate relationships—and ourselves.