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A remarkable novel by one of the most exciting new voices in Latin America today

This is the story of who Feliciana is, and of who Paloma was.

I had wanted to get to know them, but I realised right away that the people I needed to know better were my sister Leandra and my mother. Myself. I came to understand that you can’t really know another woman until you know yourself…

Weaving together two parallel narratives, Witches tells the story of Feliciana, an indigenous curandera or healer, and Zoe, a journalist: two women who meet through the murder of Feliciana’s cousin Paloma.

In the tiny village of San Felipe in Jalisco province, where traditional ways and traditional beliefs are a present reality, Feliciana tells the story of her life, her community’s acceptance of her as a genuine curandera and the difficult choices faced by her joyful and spirited cousin Paloma who is both a healer and a Muxe – a trans woman.

Growing up in Mexico City, Zoe attempts to find her way in a society straitjacketed by its hostile macho culture. But it is Feliciana’s and Paloma’s stories that draw her own story out of her, taking her on a journey to understanding her place in the world and the power of her voice.

This captivating novel of two Mexicos envisions the writer as a healer and offers a generous and distinctly female way of understanding the complex world we all inhabit.

Translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary


An injection of electricity, a music that continues to be heard far beyond its pages
Mauro Libertella
An invitation for readers of all genders to disinherit themselves from their roles and to renounce the omnipresent male narrator
El Economista
Brenda Lozano is a splendid writer, brilliant, funny, subtly perverse, always moving
Francisco Goldman
Brenda Lozano is among several contemporary Mexican writers whose playfully innovative work has met with acclaim in the UK . . . Let's hope more of [her] work will follow
Lozano knows she is gifted and has no shame in showing it
Margarita García Robayo, author of Fish Soup
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
The language that Brenda Lozano invokes in Witches belongs to unknown realms but also builds bridges between worlds-it knits kinships and illuminates ancestral knowledge still present today. In this superb, precise and ethical translation by Heather Cleary, Lozano's language truly becomes a site of revelation
Gabriela Jauregui