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On sale

25th May 2023

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529412239

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A bewitching novel by Brenda Lozano, one of the most prominent voices of the new generation of Latin American writers.

‘You can’t really know another woman until you know yourself.’

Weaving together two parallel narratives, this is the story of Feliciana, an indigenous curandera (healer), and of Zoë, a journalist: two women drawn together by the murder of Feliciana’s cousin Paloma.

In the tiny village of San Felipe in Jalisco province, where traditional ways of life and belief are a present reality, Feliciana tells the story of her life, her community’s acceptance of her as a genuine curandera and the difficulties faced by her cousin Paloma who is a Muxe (both male and female), in her case a trans woman.

Growing up in Mexico City, the heart of modern Mexico, Zoë attempts to find her way in a hostile world made for men, as she reflects on what drew her to Feliciana and Paloma, and her own relationship with the innate powers of a curandera.

This extraordinary novel envisions the writer as healer, one who uses El Lenguaje (Language) to read El Libro (The Book) that contains the mystery of the world, and offers a generous and distinctly female way of understanding the complex world we all inhabit.

Translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary


El Economista
An invitation for readers of all genders to disinherit themselves from their roles and to renounce the omnipresent male narrator
Margarita García Robayo, author of Fish Soup
Lozano knows she is gifted and has no shame in showing it
Mauro Libertella
An injection of electricity, a music that continues to be heard far beyond its pages
Francisco Goldman
Brenda Lozano is a splendid writer, brilliant, funny, subtly perverse, always moving
Brenda Lozano is among several contemporary Mexican writers whose playfully innovative work has met with acclaim in the UK . . . Let's hope more of [her] work will follow
Catherine Lacey, author of Pew and Nobody is Ever Missing
Braiding together the voices of two women - a mystic and a skeptic - Witches, to borrow Brenda Lozano's words by way of Heather Cleary's translation, runs into shadows to bring light. This is a story of the world's repeated failure to control feminine power and the sheer magic of language itself. An enthralling, passionate story about secrets both holy and profane
Gabriela Jauregui
The language that Brenda Lozano invokes in Witches belongs to unknown realms but also builds bridges between worlds-it knits kinships and illuminates ancestral knowledge still present today. In this superb, precise and ethical translation by Heather Cleary, Lozano's language truly becomes a site of revelation
Chloe Aridjis
Like the language of mushrooms: beautiful, brutal and beguiling, opening a new path to knowledge.
Maryse Meijer, author of The Seventh Mansion
Alternating between the quotidian and the incantatory, Witches weaves together two personal and political histories, casting a potent spell of fury and curiosity, heartache and healing. Sibylline, rich, and incredibly precise in its construction, Witches exhibits Lozano's total mastery of her art on every page, insisting on the primacy and power of storytelling, and the right of all Others to claim it
Jon Lee Anderson
Highly original, beautifully written and graced with a hypnotically compelling narrative style. A remarkable book
Patrick Graney, Literary Review
The two women's coming of age tales are simply and subtly told, and made more immediate by the book's structure with its emphasis on oral recall. Lozano manages to portray two disparate worlds convincingly, while persuading us of their parallels . . . [daring] to imagine a Mexico that sees commonalities across cultures and genders
New York Times
"Though the book chronicles violence against women and those who present as women, it highlights, in both rural and urban communities, an atmosphere of freedom and mobility that is a pleasure to read about"