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The Son of Good Fortune: A Novel Hardcover – July 7, 2020

4.4 out of 5 stars 63 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2020: The Son of Good Fortune is a novel about a mother, Maxima, and her son, Excel, who are undocumented Filipino immigrants living in California. They each do their best to make money, blend in, and not get caught by the authorities. But what they do is not what you might expect: Maxima seduces men on the internet, eventually cajoling them to wire her money, while Excel flees to a hippie commune with his girlfriend and begins to wonder if he could make it his home. Lysley Tenorio’s characters are vibrant and empathetic. Maxima is juiced up with the confidence of having been a Filipina action star in B-movies and is determined to do whatever it takes to be in America, while her son grapples with the invisible target on his back and what life could be like if he wasn’t TNT—tago ng tago, or “hiding and hiding.” The Son of Good Fortune is a bighearted novel that disguises poverty, displacement, and disenchantment with hearty laughs and wacky characters. But don’t let that fool you—Tenorio writes with gusto and compassion about the undocumented.—Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review

Review

"When you don’t belong where you are, where exactly do you belong? Lysley Tenorio’s engaging and comic first novel about immigration and identity asks this question with compassion and savage humor." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Tenorio’s insistence on the specificity of his characters’ dreams and longings is its own kind of argument for their right to be here…. An affecting portrayal of just how potently a parent can shape the expectations of her child…. His story is a tribute to the extreme inner strength it takes to make any life decision look like fate.” -- New York Times Book Review

"Living with this extraordinarily human undocumented family will make you laugh, weep, and think, sometimes all at once. Tenorio brilliantly makes these characters so original that they’re nearly tangible." -- James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods

"Filled with the kind of absurdities that accompany the most difficult truths, Lysley Tenorio's brilliant, witty novel about the love of a mother and son, the immigrant experience in America, and the surreality of our current reality, is bold, ambitious, and unforgettable." -- Refinery 29

“This story is bursting with heart and wisdom, humor and hope. Tenorio's gifts as a writer are on display in this expertly constructed, gorgeously written tale of a family haunted by past mistakes, struggling toward the future. Immersive in its rich detail, it gathers momentum to its affecting and powerful conclusion. A remarkable novel by an author I plan to follow for years to come.” -- Charles Yu, author of Interior Chinatown and How To Live Safely in A Science Fictional Universe

“Lysley Tenorio’s funny and poignant second novel, The Son of Good Fortune, couldn’t come at a better time…. Tenorio skillfully wrings high comedy from his characters’ boxed-in lives in a country that doesn’t know what to do with them…. Timely.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“[The Son of Good Fortune] sympathetically illuminates the tenuous lives of undocumented immigrants, those who are ‘not really here’.… Tenorio's characters are humorous and loving, in spite of the exclusion overshadowing their very existence.” -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“Tenorio, himself a Filipino immigrant, accurately and compassionately portrays the immigrant experience.  Despite its universality, The Son of Good Fortune doesn’t lack for originality…. The story finds a witty voice and sets a unique tone. Despite the drudgery and harshness of immigrant life, Tenorio explores the humanity in the tribulations and creates characters who are as lovable as they are real. With his debut novel, Tenorio excavates joy from the immigrant experience.” -- BookPage

"Tenorio's The Son of Good Fortune, so propulsive, so over-the-top with life, I fell into it, deeply. This novel restored my faith in the power of a story to heal our self-inflicted wounds. We need such books, now more than ever." -- Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others: Stories

“I have a new favorite novel on my shelf.... A field study of the glamorous allure of the American dream and the eternal ache of its exclusion. Tenorio’s great talent lies in underpinning every moment of flash and humor with love, longing and the ever-forlorn question of identity. This novel is like a stone skipped across the Pacific, all the way to Manila. Visualize it, that series of rings lingering on the ocean’s surface, expanding, intersecting, intermingling to form a chain that anchors these characters, connects them, and after years of binding them, sets them free.” -- Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master’s Son

Product details

  • Publisher : Ecco (July 7, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062059572
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062059574
  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6 x 1.01 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 63 ratings

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