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“A lush depiction of privilege and power, sex and stability . . . following three women in São Paulo . . . It Is Wood, It Is Stone is an elegant arrival of a new talent.”—Elle (One of the Most Anticipated New Books of Summer)
With sharp, gorgeous prose, It Is Wood, It Is Stone takes place over the course of a year in São Paulo, Brazil, in which two women’s lives intersect.
Linda, an anxious and restless American, has moved to São Paulo, with her husband, Dennis, who has accepted a yearlong professorship. As Dennis submerges himself in his work, Linda finds herself unmoored and adrift, feeling increasingly disassociated from her own body. Linda’s unwavering and skilled maid, Marta, has more claim to Linda’s home than Linda can fathom. Marta, who is struggling to make sense of complicated history and its racial tensions, is exasperated by Linda’s instability. One day, Linda leaves home with a charismatic and beguiling artist, whom she joins on a fervent adventure that causes reverberations felt by everyone, and ultimately binds Marta and Linda in a profoundly human, and tender, way.
An exquisite debut novel by young Brazilian American author Gabriella Burnham, It Is Wood, It Is Stone is about women whose romantic and subversive entanglements reflect on class and colourism, sexuality, and complex, divisive histories.
Gabriella Burnham is a dual citizen of the United States and Brazil. Now a New York resident, she lived in São Paulo as a child and most of her family still lives there today. She holds an MFA in creative writing from The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College and has been awarded fellowships to MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She has worked as a reporter, a creative writing teacher, and in immigration law. It Is Wood, It Is Stone is her first novel.
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