Stitches, Secrets, Shame with Jazmina Barrera, Valeria Luiselli, and Christina MacSweeney

Stitches, secrets, shame: Mexican writer Jazmina Barrera’s first novel, Cross-Stitch, translated into English by Christina MacSweeney, stitches together a coming-of-age story with a feminist history and theory of embroidery. Mila, Citlali, and Dalia, childhood friends now college-aged, leave Mexico City for the London of The Clash and the Paris of Gustave Courbet. They anticipate the bookstores, cafés, and crushes, but not the realization that they are steadily, inevitably growing apart.

That feels like forever ago. Mila, now a writer and a new mother, has just published a book on needlecraft, an art form long dismissed as “women’s work.” After hearing that her old friend Citlali has drowned, Mila begins to reminisce about their years together for the first time since becoming a wife and mother. What has come of all the nights the three friends spent embroidering together in silence? Join Jazmina BarreraValeria Luiselli, and Christina MacSweeney for a conversation about travel, art, identity, and translation, moderated by Two Lines Press Editor CJ Evans.

This is a hybrid event. Jazmina Barrera and Valeria Luiselli will join in person at The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn (1:30pm ET), with Christina MacSweeney, remotely joining from Norwich, and CJ Evans in-person at the American Library in Paris (in Paris; 19h30 CEST). A live remote viewing will be held at Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco (10:30am PT). You can also livestream this event worldwide.

In-person tickets to The Center for Fiction may include an optional lunch at $17. 

  • Lunch Option A:Ham sandwich with brie, arugula, and house-made spiced honey mustard.
  • Lunch Option B:Vegan chickpea salad sandwich.

Both options are served with an apple, a bag of salted potato chips, and a soft drink of choice.

Jazmina Barrera’s books have been published in nine countries and translated to English, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, and French. Her book Cuerpo extraño (Foreign Body) was awarded the Latin American Voices prize by Literal Publishing, and On Lighthouses was chosen for the Indie Next list by IndieBound. Linea Nigra was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Autobiography Prize, 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´s work has been recognized in a number of important awards, and her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth was awarded the Valle Inclán Translation Prize and also shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award. Her most recent translations include works by Daniel Saldaña París, Elvira Navarro, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Julián Herbert, and Karla Suárez.

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of Sidewalks, Faces in the Crowd, The Story of My Teeth; Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions and Lost Children Archive. She is the recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship and the winner of DUBLIN Literary Award, two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, The Carnegie Medal, an American Book Award, and has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the Booker Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and The New Yorker, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She teaches at Bard College and is a visiting professor at Harvard University.

CJ Evans’s newest book, Lives, was selected by Victoria Chang for the 2021 Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books. He is also the author of A Penance (New Issues Press), which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and The Category of Outcast, selected by Terrance Hayes for the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets chapbook series. Currently the editor-in-chief of Two Lines Press, a publisher of international literature in translation, he was previously an editor at Tin House and worked at the Academy of American Poets. He spent a year in Aix-en-provence, France on the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship and currently lives in California.

This event is presented in partnership with The Center for Fiction

Event information

Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Time: 1:30 pm

Venue: The Center for Fiction

Address: 15 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Map and Directions


In Person with Lunch Ticket A: $17.00

In Person with Lunch Ticket B: $17.00

In Person Ticket Only: FREE

Live Stream Only: FREE