Ciudad de México, México, 1981
Brenda Lozano is a fiction writer, essayist and editor. She studied Latin American literature at the Ibero-American University. Lozano received a grant from the FONCA Jóvenes Creadores programme, and some of her short stories have been published in various anthologies. Her first novel, Todo nada (All Nothing, Tusquets, 2009), will soon be adapted for the big screen, and her second book, Cuaderno ideal (Loop), was published in 2014. She currently edits the prose section of the literary journal MAKE. In 2015 she was selected by Conaculta, the Hay Festival and the British Council as one of her country’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.
The anxiously awaited and most ambitious novel yet by Brenda Lozano, one of the most prominent voices of the new generation of female Latin American writers.
A young journalist named Zoe travels from Mexico City to the remote area of San Felipe to write an article about Feliciana, an elderly wise woman whose healing arts attract writers, filmmakers and millionaires from around the world.Read more
Short stories and novellas
The most awaited and ambitious novel by Brenda Lozano, one of the most prominent voices of the new generation of female Latin American writers.
A young journalist named Zoe travels from Mexico City to the remote area of San Felipe to write an article about Feliciana, an elderly wise woman whose healing arts attract writers, filmmakers and millionaires from around the world. She has unwittingly become the most legendary healer in all of Mexico, but Feliciana has no interest in money or fame. Before telling her own story, she wants to hear Zoe’s.
Two women. Two voices. Two lives. Ancestral, rural, magical Mexico and today’s fast-paced urban Mexico take each other by the hand in this extraordinary novel that speaks with great delicacy of the female identity, and how women get to know each other to better know themselves, heal wounds, and find their own path.
“In Brujas, 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 does a wonderful job distinguishing the disparate characters and their fluid identities. [...] Powerful and complex, this marks a new turn from an intriguing writer.” –Publishers Weekly
“Like Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season, Witches takes as its starting point the murder of a trans woman and explores the underbelly of misogyny and femicide in Mexican culture. Yet while Hurricane Season examines toxic masculinity from a largely male perspective, Witches is grounded in the perspectives of two women and how they come to locate their own sources of power. […] In its final pages, the novel achieves a kind of incantatory power, enacting the alternate forms of knowing that the book is celebrating.”—Chicago Review of Books
"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
“Witches is about magic, healing, and how your experiences affect they way you process trauma. Lozano is a keen observer who brings two very different worlds to the page with vibrant passages and a lot of heart.” —Locus Magazine
“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
"Potent and intriguing . . . The women's stories dovetail, with echoing experiences of sisterhood, motherhood, purpose, and gendered violence. These elegant streams of consciousness ripple with tantalizing figurative language, eddying together as they flow into one refreshing river of a novel . . . It is heartbreak that this novel seeks to guide readers beyond, becoming itself a healing, meditative space to confront the cruelties of the world." —Dave Wheeler, Shelf Awareness
"The biggest success of Witches is the way she weaves together two distinct voices … 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.”—Rachel Nolan, New York Times Book Review
Winner 2019 English PEN Award
A Proustian love story told by the voice of a young woman waiting for her lover to return.
Loop is a love story narrated from the point of view of a woman who waits for her boyfriend Jonás to return from a trip to Spain. They met when she was recovering from an accident and he had just lost his mother. Soon after that, they were living together. She waits for him as a sort of contemporary Penelope who, instead of knitting only to then un-knit, she writes and erases her thoughts in a notebook: Proust, a dwarf, a swallow, a dreamy cat or David Bowie singing ‘Wild is the Wind’, make up some of the strands that are woven together in this tapestry of longing and waiting.
Written in a sometimes irreverent style, in short fragments that at points are more like haikus than conventional narrative prose, this is a truly original reflection on love, relationships, solitude and the aesthetics and purpose of writing.
"A glorious tapestry of ideas." The Guardian
"An intimate book that starts small and expands steadily outward, with a cumulative effect both moving and hopeful." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A meditation on uselessness; a manifesto in its favour. Brenda Lozano is an anatomist of the everyday..." 3ammagazine
"This book is a teachable thing. It can show us how best to learn to 'unlearn' ourselves in order to better ourselves." Booksandbao
"Experimental, witty and disruptive." Jessica Payn, Splice
"Loop arrives when we have all been asked to reassess ideas of control we had over our lives; reading it is both a comfort and a provocation." AirLight
"Lozano is a marvellous writer, bright, funny, subtly perverse, always moving." Francisco Goldman
"Lozano knows she is gifted, and has no shame in showing it." Margarita García Robayo, author of Fish Soup
"Lozano’s anti-novel throws down nodal points of entry and departure to create seemingly random junctions between mythology, fairy tale, pop culture and literature. [...] It can be read as a manifesto for realist magic as opposed to magic realism. It can be read aloud between lovers or in solitary silence. But most important of all, it should be read, period." Chris Brownsword, The Quietus
“Brenda Lozano’s books rub shoulders with the best of Latin American literature, without exhausting themselves in localisms or squabbles. An invitation to assess reality from other traditions.” Faena
“Because this is a smaller version of Penelope’s story, of Metamorphoses, of the sea, violence, great literature, death, time, and love going from big bold print to the insignificance of tiny letters. Because that’s what Cuaderno ideal is all about, the most useless stories in a world governed by the most important, the most transcendental, the most famous.” Manuel Barroso
Already an old man, the renowned gastroenterologist Emilio Nassar had a project: let himself starve to death. As a witness of that hidden agenda, he chose his young granddaughter, Emilia, with whom he shared long coffee talks before dying. Still affected by the loss, and engaged in a turbulent love affair, Emilia is devoted to reconstruct the last months she lived with her grandfather, the last months of that avid reader, incurable megalomaniac, authoritarian father, sickly-sweet grandfather, recalcitrant conservative, cinema buff and old-fashioned gentleman. Free of all solemnity, Emilia recalls the lively and poignant monologues of the man who, despite his suicidal determination, always had a memory, a revelation or a new bias to tell, as one might expect from an intolerant man, who also offered gallantry, tenderness and, on his best moments, the most sensible advice: “We are not here to sleep in anguish: we have come to have a good time”. However, Emilia will realize how complicated it is to apply this principle to her chaotic life. A fact that will cast a shy, sad, but revealing light on the nonsense of our affections.
Short stories and novellas
¿What weighs more? A word or a stone? In this short story collection, everyday occurrences converse with all kinds of unusual events. A photocopier’s monologue, the strange questions a little girl asks a policeman, a herd of elephants performing a ritual before death, a home threatened by the objects left by an ex. Cómo piensan las piedras speaks to us of love and family relationships, day-to-day enigmas, the unknown bursting through, memories sinking into the past like a stone into a lake. It speaks to us of stories of love and heartbreak that begin with music albums and end in empty rooms and tired arms. What weighs more, a gorilla or a husband?
Brenda Lozano studies the human zoo in stories where readers will find the characters both familiar and enigmatic, as close friends usually are.
“I said I love you, and that word is a panther; I said I love you, and saw that the word flies in the morning. I said I love you, and there goes a black cat. I asked do you love me, and there’s a white dog, dirty and clumsy, tilting its head.”
“A group of stories that are always disturbing, and always subtle.” Antonio Ortuño
“Brenda Lozano is a splendid writer, brilliant, fun, subtly perverse, always moving." Francisco Goldman
- 2019 - English PEN Award on Translation for Cuaderno ideal (Loop), with Annie McDermott
- 2017 - Included in the list Bogota 39, a selection of the best fiction writers under 40 from across Latin America