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Golden Hour Books

Cross-Stitch: A Novel by Jazmina Barrera (Translated by Christina MacSweeney) (11/7/23)

Cross-Stitch: A Novel by Jazmina Barrera (Translated by Christina MacSweeney) (11/7/23)

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A debut novel of female friendship and coming-of-age from Jazmina Barrera, acclaimed author of Linea Nigra and On Lighthouses, translated by Christina MacSweeney.

It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime.
 Mila, Citlali, and Dalia, childhood friends now college aged, leave Mexico City for the England of The Clash and the Paris of Courbet. They anticipate the cafés and crushes, but not the early signs that they are each steadily, inevitably changing. 

That feels like forever ago. Mila, now a writer and a new mother, has just published a book on needlecraft—an art form so long dismissed as “women’s work.” But after learning Citlali has drowned, Mila begins to sift through her old scrapbooks, reflecting on their shared youth for the first time as a new wife and mother. What has come of all the nights the three friends spent embroidering together in silence? Did she miss the signs that Citlali needed help?

* * * * * 

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2023 (The Millions)
One of the Best Books of the 2023 So Far (Chicago Review of Books)
A Publishers Lunch Buzz Book Selection for 2023

“Jazmina Barrera’s
 Cross Stitch is a beautifully woven tale of friendship, coming of age, womanhood, and loss that never shies away from the complexity of grief—all while honoring the joy that is to be found in life. Masterfully written, and with a fascinating history of the art of needlework stitched throughout, here is a delicate novel in which embroidery becomes a breathtaking language unto itself. Christina MacSweeney perfectly captures Jazmina Barrera’s poetic voice in this incredibly precise and moving translation.” —Isaac Fitzgerald, author of Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

“Barrera embroiders a tender story of friendship and loss, intricately weaving the complexities of womanhood, self-discovery, and the human experiences that bind us.” —Reyna Grande, author of A Ballad of Love and Glory

“Never has a novel about friendship rung truer to me than this one. This is literary art at its most insightful, most tender, most wise.
 Cross-Stitch is a soft-spoken, hyper-articulate masterpiece. ” —John Wray, author of Gone to the Wolves

Praise for Jazmina Barrera

Linea Nigra is a beautiful and lucid essay about the journey across motherhood seasons – pregnancy, childbirth and first months of parenting. Far from mythologizing motherhood as an idealized state, Linea Nigra sheds light on the complex and contradictory nature of gestation: a state crossed by terrors, but also by hopes and love; a biological and spiritual mystery that concerns all human beings, as individuals and as a society.” —Fernanda Melchor, The Guardian, on Linea Nigra

“A strange, slim, hybrid book…disarmingly fresh and provocative.…[Barrera’s] is a vision of art as feminine, never truly original or new, but a cycle: art as birth and death; bodies decomposing in the dirt, the roots ‘the tree of our flesh.’” —Christine Henneberg, New York Review of Books, on Linea Nigra

“Clear-eyed and poetic…[A] generous, openhearted project inviting readers to discover what is often hidden away, unseen.” Los Angeles Review of Books on Linea Nigra

“Eminently worthy of acclaim.” —Vogue (The Best Books of 2022 So Far) on Linea Nigra

“Lighthouses, the ‘frontier between civilization and nature,’ are places of solitude. But they are also signals of shore and home. This book is a light at the end of the tunnel, showing us places we’ll see and things we’ll do when we can go out again.” The Paris Review on On Lighthouses

“Precise and erudite, Barrera’s writing is as alluring and arresting as the landscapes and stories it conveys. Each piece is crafted with care, imbued with Barrera’s poignant critical sense and her perspicacious ability to unravel the different levels of affect, historicity, and magnificence that constitute the everyday life of each lighthouse.” —Ignacio M. Sánchez, Los Angeles Review of Books on On Lighthouses

“A slim, idiosyncratic history of these structures and their appearances in literature—from Robert Louis Stevenson, whose father and grandfather engineered them, to Virginia Woolf, to Ray Bradbury—the book allows the reader flashes of Barrera’s emotional life amid the accumulated detail.” —Harper’s on On Lighthouses
About the Author & Translator
Jazmina Barrera was born in Mexico City in 1988. She has published work in various print and digital media, such as The Paris Review, El Malpensante, Words Without Borders, El País, The New York Times and Electric Literature. She has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing in Spanish from New York University, which she completed with the support of a Fulbright grant. She is the author of four books in Spanish: Cuerpo extraño, Cuaderno de faros, Linea nigra and the children's book, Los nombres de los animales and Punto de cruz. Her books have been published in nine countries and translated to English, Dutch, Portuguese Italian and French. Her book of essays Cuerpo extraño (Foreign Body) was awarded the Latin American Voices prize by Literal Publishing in 2013. Cuaderno de faros was long listed for the von Rezzori award. The English version of Cuaderno de faros, On Lighthouses, (Two Lines Press, 2020) was chosen for the Indie Next list by Indie Bound. Linea Nigra was a finalist for the National Book Critics Cricle's Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Autobiography Prize, CANIEM's Book of the Year Award, and the Amazon Primera Novela (First Novel) Award. She is editor and co-founder of Ediciones Antílope. She lives in Mexico City. Author photo by Rodrigo Jardón.

Christina MacSweeney (Translator) has an MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia. Her work has been recognized in a number of important awards. Her translation of Valeria Luiselli's The Story of My Teeth was awarded the 2016 Valle Inclán Translation Prize and also shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award (2017). Her most recent translations include fiction and nonfiction works by Daniel Saldaña París, Elvira Navarro, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Julián Herbert, Jazmina Barrera, and Karla Suárez. She has also contributed to anthologies of Latin American literature and published translations, articles and interviews on a variety of platforms.

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