An older woman who spent her eighteenth year in Auschwitz. A younger one who used her nineteenth to organize against the war in Vietnam in New York. An economics student who despite his radical convictions works for the Mexican stock exchange. Mexico 1968. A year, a student movement, a friendship and a massacre which changes all of their lives forever. This is the stuff of Itzel, a two volume novel from Sarah Xerar Murphy, the woman who lived it.
This second volume focuses on Nauta, the narrator, to bring her face to face with her own violence and capacity for both betrayal and commitment in a series of harrowing scenes.
WINNER OF THE NEW BRUNSWICK BOOK AWARDS MRS DUNSTER'S FICTION PRIZE
In this first volume, it is Itzel who is the focus, as she blooms into her own agency, bravery, even heroism, possibilities she thought beaten out of her by the horror of the camps.
― Todd Gitlin, author of Occupy
Four excerpts from Itzel I and Itzel II,
An Auschwitz Survivor, Bunker H, Tan Chele Que Era, and La Saña, first read for the Attic Owl Reading Series
A celebration of profanity a lo mexicano, in particular the word pendejo in its many variations as well as its original meaning, this short true to life excerpt from Itzel I: A Tlatelolco Awakening, still has its serious side. For Weyman Chan who asked me for an explanation.
Riveting, concise narratives… As bold, lyrical and thought out as a performance piece… [with] the intimate feel of a diary ― Deborah Staab
An erotic power reminiscent of Marguerite Duras ― Janette Turner Hospital
A deep and exquisitely written story of transformation ― Margot Adler
...feminist and anti-racist in value, sardonic in wit, always surprising in what it relates ― Daphne Marlatt
...vital, dynamic, engaged... that gravelly voice overflowing with earthy wisdom, deft humour and incantatory power can be heard throughout ― Elspeth Cameron
...luminescent prose as comic book strips and bedtime stories and a journey or two to hell become the stuff of her contemporary fictions ― Robert Kroetsch
...shifting labyrinths created by the mind, the soul, and multiple languages: ― George Melnyk
Widely published in magazines and anthologies, Xerar Murphy's innovative fiction and nonfiction, include "You would make a good Jesuit", a finalist for the CBC Creative Nonfiction contest seen here in a screenshot along with a drawing from her installation, scrapbook, exhibited in The UK and Canada.