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Itzel II

Itzel II

A Three Knives tale

By Sarah Xerar Murphy

In Itzel II: A Three Knives Tale, we continue to follow Nauta, Itzel and Basta through the cascading outcomes of their desire for agency and for change in themselves and in their world. As we contemplate the range of actions such desire makes them take and the range of emotions it brings, from euphoria to despair, we move from the Oaxaca coast back to Mexico City, from Nauta?s Brooklyn streets to her time in Canada, from the attraction between Basta and Itzel that has altered the characters' friendship to the rumours and reckonings that result. The 10th of June, 1971 -- The Halconazo -- when the '68 prisoners are out and the students of Mexico City return to the streets, is brought alive by the author's intimate knowledge of an event that was in part organized by movement friends from her phone. As Nauta continues to measure her Mexican experiences against who she has become, she will see herself once more wielding the knife she has carried since puberty, as she is brought face to face not just with th


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


346 pages |

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Sarah Murphy has done the undo-able: written, in strange magnificent future-tense prose about events that were kept hidden until 30 years after they?d been perpetrated. We understand the movement that culminated in Tlatelolco and the country that produced it, finally, as we come to understand Nauta, Itzel, Basta and the others who populate this rich and rewarding novel. Is it a novel? Memoir? Who cares? It must be read.

Margaret Randall, author of Che on My Mind, Haydée Santamaria, Cuban Revolutionary, and Exporting Revolution

Sentences flow for many lines at a time, dreamlike, erudite, replete with fact, translation, word play, analysis and digression, making it feel as though we are listening to a drowsy professor talking to keep herself awake. Murphy affords her reader no white space, few psychic rest areas on the page, in either volume. Hers is an intelligence that expects us not merely to keep pace but to dive into the telling, accepting the fulsomeness of expression as well as the circularity of it.

The Fiddlehead


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About the author

Prize winning author of eight books of fiction and memoir, Sarah Xerar Murphy is also widely recognized for her spoken word performance, and social justice work. Her bi-racial, bilingual and multicultural background combine with long-term residence in all three of North America’s largest countries to bring electrifying authenticity to her creations. She currently resides in Bocabec, NB.