Brujas / Witches
Novel , 2020
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
"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