Prayers for the Stolen

Reviews | On Writing Prayers for the Stolen | Excerpt


A New York Times Editor’s Choice

“[An] important book . . . I think it’s brilliantly written. It’s very moving.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature

“Beguiling, and even crazily enchanting . . . [Clement] writes a poet’s prose, spare and simple, creating her world through patterns of repeated and varied metaphors and images that blossom inside the reader like radiant poppies . . . Prayers for the Stolen gives us words for what we haven’t had words for before, like something translated from a dream in a secret language. The novel is an ebullient yet deeply stirring paean to its female characters’ resiliency and capacity for loyalty, friendship, compassion and love, but also to the power of fiction and poetry.”—Francisco Goldman, New York Times Book Review

“The theme of Prayers for the Stolen is the wanton violence inflicted on women and the destruction of communities as a result of the drug trade in Mexico, but Clement’s eye for the revealing detail, the simple poetry of her language and the visceral authenticity of her characters turn that deadening reality into a compelling, tragically beautiful novel.”—Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi

“If Charles Dickens with Oliver Twist managed to change the laws that made martyrs out of poor English children and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, helped the women of England become property owners, or the way that Garcia Marquez placed Latin America on the world stage with One Hundred Years of Solitude let’s hope that Prayers for the Stolen . . . changes the condition of Mexican and Central American girls who are stolen and trafficked for sex . . . the impact of Prayers for the Stolen could be fundamental in the life of  the women of our continent.”—Elena Poniatowska, Cervantes Prize 2014

“The brutal background of this terrific novel is only too real, Clement brings modern tragedy to vivid life.”—London Times

Read more review of Prayers for the Stolen

On Writing Prayers for the Stolen:
Prayers for the Stolen is a novel about Ladydi Garcia Martínez. She is part of a community, like so many in rural Mexico, that has been decimated by drug traffickers, government agricultural policies and illegal immigration. Her home is a village near the once glamorous port of Acapulco. Her story, although inspired by truth, is fiction.”

Read the full letter from Jennifer Clement