“It Is Wood, It Is Stone is a fever dream of a book; absolutely captivating and wonderfully destabilizing.” ―Justin Torres
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 colorism, sexuality, and complex, divisive histories.
“An absorbing and remarkably assured debut, It Is Wood, It Is Stone marries taut, cinematic suspense with intimate, textured domestic realism. Hits a major refresh button on the genre of psychological thriller and gives us something immensely satisfying and new.”
―Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox
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.