Father Figure

Lamar Herrin

Lamar Herrin

Lamar Herrin is the author

of seven novels (The Lies Boys

Tell, House of the Deaf, and

Fractures, among others),

a memoir, Romancing Spain,

and numerous stories (in The

New Yorker, Harper’s, The Paris

Review and Epoch). He has

won a NEA fellowship, an AWP

Award for the Novel, and the

Paris Review’s Aga Kahn award for fiction. He is a professor emeritus from Cornell University and with his wife Amparo Ferri divides his time between Ithaca, New York and Valencia, Spain.

Imagine a boy born in the last year of World War II to parents who before the war had become the darlings of their town. The father had been a four-letter man at the state university, an open and generous and engaging personality, and his spirited and beautiful bride had matched him stride for winning stride. The son knows his parents both through the legendary stories he has heard about them and, when the father returns from the Battle of the Bulge missing his left leg, as embittered post-war casualties. How to reconcile those two versions of his parents, and of his father especially? That is the subject matter of Father Figure—that quest and the lengths to which the son is willing to go to regain a father he never knew and the efforts of a sister and a past lover to save him before he goes too far.


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