Ciudad de México, México, 1981

Brenda Lozano is a fiction writer, essayist and editor. Born in Mexico City, she studied literature in Mexico and the United States. She has participated in literary residencies in the US, Europe and Latin America, and her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Mexico20 and Bogotá39. She edits the literary journal Make in Chicago and is part of Ugly Duckling Presse in New York. She is the author of four books: the novel Todo nada (2009), currently being adapted for the screen; Cuaderno Ideal (2015), its English translation by Annie McDermott, titled Loop, won the PEN Translation Prize in 2019; a book of short stories, Cómo piensan las piedras (2017); and the novel Witches (2020), whose translation rights have already been acquired in several languages. In 2015, she was recognised by Conaculta, the Hay Festival, and the British Council as one of the most important authors under forty years of age from Mexico. In 2017 she was selected by the Hay Festival for Bogotá 39, a list of the most outstanding new authors from Latin America. She currently lives in Mexico City and writes for El País newspaper.


The lives of Gloria Felipe and Nuria Valencia intertwine around the kidnapping of a little girl that shakes the Mexican capital in the 1940s. Through a narrator who (in her own words) 'doesn't sing rancheras badly,' we witness the Miranda Felipe family's battle to recover their youngest member and the anxious upbringing of the Fernández Valencia family to save their own daughter from a potential danger that the police haven't been able to stop, reported by the media in the tone of a thriller.

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The lives of Gloria Felipe and Nuria Valencia intertwine around the kidnapping of a little girl that shakes the Mexican capital in the 1940s. Through a narrator who (in her own words) 'doesn't sing rancheras badly,' we witness the Miranda Felipe family's battle to recover their youngest member and the anxious upbringing of the Fernández Valencia family to save their own daughter from a potential danger that the police haven't been able to stop, reported by the media in the tone of a thriller.

Punctuated by various water-related images—rain, sea, breeze, pond, or puddle—that reflect the emotional state of its characters, Soñar como sueñan los árboles offers a critical look at the mandates of motherhood and also shows the possibilities of rebellion and self-determination opened up by women of the mid-century for us. Brenda Lozano's sharp and poignant sense of humour makes it impossible to put the book down until the final pages.

‘In this novel, language dances and leaves us with questions like open wounds: What are mothers willing to do in the name of love for a daughter? What is foreclosed for women by the medical and social system? Who has access to justice? What are the consequences of fear in a society? How do we come to forgive? Questions whose echo resonates in our current context. With a cast of endearing characters and a clever narrator, Lozano weaves in this novel the past of the 1940s in Mexico City and our present with surprising relevance and tenderness.’ Gabriela Jauregui 

‘[Brenda Lozano] chooses to shift the focus towards women and the social expectations that, at different moments in history but always with the same intensity, mark their lives and their decisions regarding motherhood and the workforce. [...] There is no net left unexplored, nor a character free from the web that both connects and ensnares them equally.’ El País México

‘A thriller that maintains dramatic tension over 132 pages. Brenda Lozano uses a fine brush to trace the character traits, their stories, the convergences and tensions between them, and especially the oppressive situation of those who have seen their daughter disappear. [...] The formula used by the author is original, changes perspectives, and lessens the dramatic tension. The reader [...] will be surprised. And may read the story again.’ La Razón de México

‘It absorbs the most thrilling elements of the thriller and historical novel to construct, from a female perspective, a story about the kidnapping of a girl in the 1940s Mexico. A plot with a classic form but with the flavour that new generations desire: like a delicious vegan burger.’ Coolt



The most awaited and ambitious novel by Brenda Lozano, one of the most prominent voices of the new generation of female Latin American writers.

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of The Year
Time Best Book of the Month
World Literature Today Notable Book
Named a Most Anticipated Book by 
Bustle, NYLON, Literary Hub, and The Millions

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

"A fascinating immersion into a little-known world, written with tenderness and humanity." —Kirkus Reviews  A best fiction book of the year

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

“Readers of Fernanda Melchor’s form-busting, psychedelic takes on recent South American history won’t want to miss Brenda Lozano’s Witches . . . Heather Cleary fluidly translates Lozano’s spiky narrative, immersing readers in its horrors without obscuring its beauties.” Chicago Review of Books

“One of the most striking voices of a new generation of Latin American writers.” Pierce Alquist, Book Riot

“Who needs a standard plot when you can write as exquisitely as Brenda Lozano?... The women reveal themselves, through stories of mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers—men are essential but peripheral, often dangerous—in a rhythm that enchants and floats the story forward, confirming the capacity of words to cast a powerful spell.” Cat Auer, The A.V. Club



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