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Two Lines Press

Cross-Stitch by Jazmina Barrera (Hardcover)

Cross-Stitch by Jazmina Barrera (Hardcover)

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Fiction - Women - Literary 

Translated by: Christina MacSweeney


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? Jazmina Barrera’s
 Cross-Stitch, in Christina MacSweeney’s taut translation, encounters its characters hesitating before the specter of adulthood.


Jazmina Barrera was born in Mexico City in 1988. She was a fellow at the Foundation for Mexican Letters and a fellow at Mexico's Fonca's Program for young writers. 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, Los nombres, and Punto de cruz. Her books have been published in nine countries and translated to English, Dutch, 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. On Lighthouses (Two Lines Press, 2020) was chosen for the Indie Next list by Indie Bound. Linea Nigra was a finalist in 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.

Christina MacSweeney 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.

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2023 (The Millions)

“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

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