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Witches: A Novel
The beguiling story of a young journalist whose investigation of a murder leads her to the most legendary healer in all of Mexico, from one of the most prominent voices of a new generation of Latin American writers
Paloma is dead. But before she was murdered, before she was even Paloma, she was a traditional healer named Gaspar. Before she was murdered, she taught her cousin Feliciana the secrets of the ceremonies known as veladas, and about the Language and the Book that unlock their secrets.
Sent to report on Paloma’s murder, Zoe meets Feliciana in the mountain village of San Felipe. There, the two women’s lives twist around each other in a danse macabre. Feliciana tells Zoe the story of her struggle to become an accepted healer in her community, and Zoe begins to understand the hidden history of her own experience as a woman, finding her way in a hostile environment shaped by and for men.
Weaving together two parallel narratives that mirror and refract one another, this extraordinary novel envisions the healer as storyteller and the writer as healer, and offers a generous and nuanced understanding of a world that can be at turns violent and exultant, cruel and full of hope.
“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.” —Catherine Lacey, author of Pew and Nobody Is Ever Missing
BRENDA LOZANO is a fiction writer, essayist, and editor. Her books include: Todo nada (All or Nothing, 2009), followed by Cuaderno ideal (Loop, 2019), and a book of short stories Cómo piensan las piedras (How Stones Think, 2017). In 2015 she was selected by Conaculta, the Hay Festival and the British Council as one of Mexico's best fiction writers under 40. In 2017 she was added to the Bogota 39 list, a selection of the best fiction writers under 40 from across Latin America. Witches is her most recent novel.
HEATHER CLEARY has translated poetry and prose by writers including Betina González, Mario Bellatin, Sergio Chejfec, and María Ospina; her work has been recognized by the National Book Foundation, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award, and others.