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Brenda Lozano Books In Order

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Brenda Lozano
Brenda Lozano was born in 1981 and is a Mexican writer that is best known for “Loop” which won the PEN Award for Translation.

Brenda studied literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana. She was named as one of the Bogota 39, a selection of the best young writers in Latin America, in 2017.

On August 16, 2021 she was posted to the Mexican embassy in Spain as a cultural attache. Just four days later, however, president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador complained that Brenda had been previously critical of his policies and rescinded her appointment. Brenda became the target of this coordinated astroturfing attack, harassing her via social media.

She doesn’t come from a bookish family. If things were going well, their reward was not a book but a blue or red slushie on their way out of the supermarket. So when she came to read while at university, she could not believe the amazing and wonderful things that she was finding, that studying could ever actually be like that. She was fascinated, yet the academic literary canon when she was a student was overwhelmingly masculinist, and she has been able to fill a lot of the blind spots and gaps she had back then. And in the process, she has tried reading what younger female poets are writing, and what other women are writing in Latin America. This is what she finds most interesting: other possible worlds and other ways to tell stories.

Brenda finds that when she has to read an excerpt aloud of something that she wrote a long time ago, she wonders why she wrote it the way she did and not some other way.

What she usually enjoys the most is the process of writing, and for her, writing is about the process more than anything else. When she cannot manage to begin or carry on with some text, she suffers, she procrastinates, or she suffers because she procrastinates, however not due to the capitalist logic of her not doing anything and she really should be productive. It’s not about that. She has a bad time for the simple reason that she has such a good time when she is writing. This is why she tries to do it, and why she likes doing it.

“Loop” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2019. Recovering from an unspecified accident, our narrator finds herself in waiting rooms of different types: airport departure lounges, doctors’ surgeries, and above all back at home, awaiting her boyfriend’s return, who has been traveling to Spain after his mom’s death.

“Loop” is a love story that is told from the point of view of a contemporary Penelope who, rather than weaving and unraveling her shroud, writes and erases her thoughts in her ‘ideal’ notebook. Both funny and thought provoking, her thoughts range from her stationery preferences to the different scales on which life is lived, as this cast of unlikely characters cross the page, from a mysterious dwarf to Proust, and this dreamy cat to David Bowie as he sings “Wild is the Wind”.

Written in this irreverent and assured style, this is the journal of an absence, one in which the most minute or whimsical observations can open up entire universes. Combining aphoristic fragments with introspective narrative, and evokes Fernando Pessoa and Italo Calvino in its wry humor and playfulness, this original reflection on relationships, solitude, and the purpose of writing offers up a glimpse of contemporary life in Mexico City, while also asking what it truly means to find our own place in this world.

Readers found this to be a mastery, which had the originality that transforms a diary, a stream of consciousness, into this riveting series of questions, and took them on this journey where lines were straight, yet curved at the same time. It was excellent and unique, and it is fascinating in its construction is emotionally resonant, while also universal in a very personal way. Entertaining and delightful yet also insightful and sophisticated.

“Witches” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A beguiling story about a young journalist whose investigation of this murder leads her to the most legendary of healers in all of Mexico.

Paloma is dead. However before she got murdered, before she had even become Paloma, she was just a traditional healer called Gaspar. Before she was murdered, she taught Feliciana (her cousin) the secrets of the ceremonies that are known as veladas, and about the Language and the Book which unlocks all of their secrets.

Zoe is sent off to report on Paloma’s murder, and she meets Felciana in the mountain village of San Felipe. While there, these two women’s lives twist around one another in a danse macabre. Felciana tells Zoe the story behind her struggle to become an accepted healer in her community, and Zoe starts to comprehend the hidden history of her own experience as a woman, finding her own way in a hostile environment shaped for and by men.

Weaving together two parallel narratives which refract and mirror each other, this extraordinary novel envisions the healer as the storyteller and the writer as the healer, and offers up a generous and nuanced understanding of a world which can be at turns extultant and violent, full of hope and cruel.

This novel weaves together two political and personal histories, casting a rather potent spell of curiosity and fury, healing and heartache. Sibylline, rich, and incredibly precise in its construction, “Witches” exhibits Brenda’s total mastery of her art on each and every page, insisting on the primacy and power storytelling has, and the right of all Others to go and claim it.

This is a story about the world’s repeated failure to control feminine power and the sheer magic of language itself. It is a passionate and enthralling tale about secrets both profane and holy. Brenda delivers a novel that is full of heartbreak and humor, there is a diversity of characters and ways of seeing the world. It’s a book for readers that appreciate a deep read and literature which takes you to a whole other world.

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