A dazzling follow up to her short story collection, The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert, Itzá by Rios de la Luz is an incantation of familial love and speaks to the divine feminine in storytelling. In this book, we meet Marisol, a girl and darkling who is becoming a water witch, inheriting the powers of her grandmother and great-grandmother. Marisol is a bruja who must grapple with sexual abuse and the realization that a woman’s body is a border and ultimately, it is she who contains its’ greatest power.
With the help of her younger sister, Ariceli, Marisol is able to learn the full extent of love, power, and healing. There is the warm sunshine of the beach, the calming buzz of TV sets, and mythical beds of matriarchy. There is majestic grandmother hair and insects with sacred wings and bodies. de la Luz’s lyrical prose burns through the psychology of the narrative, and shape shifts into moments of vulnerability and prowess, making this a new kind of feminist text, one that calls for intersections and not just one road through a dark forest.
Each section of the book has a different pulse. Some feel like fragments, others are tempered fevers, and others are small aches of joy. Through each cycle of prose, women and their will power are left in the center to battle demons of racism, patriarchy, and misogyny. There is a dark hole in this book, but it is not hollow, rather a space where readers can experience the cool grip of death and emerge with resolve and celebration.
You can preorder Itzá here. http://interstellarbruja.bigcartel.com/
Monique Quintana is the Editor-in-Chief of the literary blogazine, Razorhouse and the Beauty Editor at Luna Luna Magazine. She holds an MFA from CSU Fresno and her work has been published or is forthcoming in Huizache, Bordersenses, and The Acentos Review, among others. She is a Pocha/Chicana identified mother, daughter, sister, lover, and english teacher from California’s Central Valley.