A Novel


Choose a Format

On Sale: | $26

9781646220687 | Hardcover 6 x 9 | 240 pages Buy it Now

On Sale: | $13.99

9781646220694 | Ebook | 240 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

“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

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.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

A NYLON Most Anticipated Book of the Year

"Lozano does a wonderful job distinguishing the disparate characters and their fluid identities, and Cleary’s translation strikes the perfect balance of immersion and clarity. Powerful and complex, this marks a new turn from an intriguing writer." —Publishers Weekly

“I’ve always wanted to encounter a voice like this in literature, a contemporary bruja oaxaqueña, without folklore or cliché, with true feeling, complexity, and poetry. It feels like discovering that Juan Rulfo has transformed into a twenty-first century woman, or better yet, that he has returned as one of the many voices that live in Brenda Lozano. A beautiful, painful, funny, and tender novel." —Francisco Goldman, author of Monkey Boy

“In this gem of a book, Lozano demonstrates a poet’s ear for language and a fine attunement to how voice builds character. Taking inspiration from Mexico’s quintessential oral poet, healer María Sabina, the zigzagging narratives of its protagonists remind us that psychedelia found its origin in the revelation that buffs the mind clean. Cleary’s inspired translation partakes of the same vital spirit.” —Mónica de la Torre, author of The Happy End / All Welcome

"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." —Catherine Lacey, author of Pew and Nobody is Ever Missing

"Brenda Lozano’s new novel is highly original, beautifully written, and graced with a hypnotically compelling narrative style. In Witches a group of extraordinary women: Zoe, Feliciana, Paloma, and Leandra, are brought unforgettably to life. One hopes it will not be the last we see of them. A remarkable book about life’s choices, love, and the redemptive power of the imagination." —Jon Lee Anderson

"In Witches, Brenda Lozano invokes language that is territory of the unknown, a bridge between worlds that weaves bonds, language as a place of revelation." —Gabriela Jauregui

"Lozano is a marvellous writer, bright, funny, subtly perverse, always moving." —Francisco Goldman, author of The Art of Political Murder

"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." —Maryse Meijer, author of The Seventh Mansion

"Lozano knows she is gifted, and has no shame in showing it." —Margarita García Robayo, author of Fish Soup and Holiday Heart