Two women are drawn into a seductive web of privilege, displacement, sexuality, and other mysteries of the heart in this magnetic debut by a young Brazilian American author to watch.
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 with her husband, Dennis, for a year professorship. As Dennis submerges himself into 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 she can fathom. Marta, who is struggling to make sense of her country's 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 colorism, sexuality, and complex, divisive histories.
About the Author
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. She has worked as a reporter, a creative writing teacher, and in immigration law. Gabriella's writing has appeared in The Battersea Review, Nantucket Today, The Inquirer and Mirror, and The Attic. This is her first novel.
“It Is Wood, It Is Stone is a fever dream of a book; absolutely captivating and wonderfully destabilizing. I could not put it down. It is about uprootedness, class and color, and sex. It is about women on the verge—of collapse, of escape, of self-knowledge—failing and flailing and propping one another up. It is a book about the limits of propriety and the boundlessness of grace. Burnham is a writer of such remarkable insight, it’s impossible to believe this is her debut.”—Justin Torres, author of We the Animals