Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Like Son

From The Advocate website comes this review of Felicia Luna Lemus's Like Son, by Regina Marler:

'Like Son is a post-trans novel—possibly the first to be published.
Frank's transsexuality is not the subject. When his mother shoves
$5,000 at him to get him to leave her front doorstep, he uses the
money not for top surgery but to escape to New York to find new love
and unfold the significance Nahui Olin held for his long-dead
grandmother. There's no gender-related angst in the book, and no
attempt to conceal Frank's birth gender. The occasional difficulties
or awkwardness—the moments when Frank doesn't pass, for instance, like
at the hospital after a train accident—aren't glossed over, but they
don't form or influence Frank's self-image or affect the ongoing
action of the novel.

Frank tells his girlfriend Nathalie that he chose his name in honor of
his father and "for its function as a verb." When she challenges him,
he sends her to the dictionary: "Webster's, definition 11: to enable
to pass or go freely." Then he offers a kind of credo: "To live
without the curses and consequences that crippled my family before me,
to break free of a life I preferred were not mine, to pass without
constraint through the world…as a man, a good and decent man—to this I
aspired."'

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