August is Women in Translation Month. This month aims to rectify the imbalance in world literature, promoting women writers from across all walks of life, all languages, and all experiences. I've been adding works in translation by women writers to my Bookshop collection throughout the month.
One title in particular that has caught my eye is Witches by Mexican author, Brenda Lozano, translated from Spanish by Heather Cleary.
The first thing that drew me in was obviously this powerful cover. Bright red with a bird/chicken woman on the cover... it's giving eerie.
Witches is the beguiling story of a young journalist whose investigation of a murder leads her to the most legendary healer in all of Mexico.
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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.
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I don't read many mysteries or thrillers, but I've been trying to get into them more. I enjoyed When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and And Now She's Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall, so I think I'll enjoy this one.
Witches also sounds perfect for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I think y'all will really enjoy this one. You can pre-order the paperback. It's out September 12th, just in time for Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month!
Are you adding this one to your TBR? What other works in translation have you enjoyed?