Deena Metzger's latest novel:
La Negra y Blanca: Fugue and Commentary

La Negra y Blanca is the crowning achievement of Deena Metzger's lifetime as a novelist, poet, and playwright. On the surface, it is a meditation on memory as the narrator pieces together the bright flashes of images of her life recalled, piecing them together with the intention of creating a healing matrix that reflects a life lived in search of meaning.

On a deeper level, it weaves in the history and tragedy of the Conquest's ongoing political and environmental effects on Latin America through the narrator's relationship with Victor Perera, a Guatemalan-American writer and journalist who documented the destruction of the native Lacandon tribe of Guatemala by imperialistic forces. We become acquainted with La Negra, a mysterious woman who is pregnant, but who will not give birth to her child until the world is safe enough for its continued existence, and who is the centerpiece character of a natural world struggling to survive and maintain its integrity in the midst of industrialization and the decimation of the sacred forests.

Deena Metzger has created a complex novel that weaves the personal, political, global and spiritual threads of her life into a tapestry of beauty, sorrow, transcendence, and ultimately, the assurance of a world renewed by the unwavering examination of all of its component parts to create a path to a future that promises reverence for all life.

Praise for La Negra y Blanca

Deena Deena Metzger has used her skills as poet to understand the end of Victor Perera’s life. Does the universe and time work in such a way that our lives encircle one another's forever? As we read La Negra y Blanca, the contemporary and the mythic, our selves and our ancestors, miraculously join.
Maxine Hong Kingston
author of I Love a Broad Margin To My Life

Deena Metzger's La Negra y Blanca flows into readers like a breeze from the Guatemalan highlands, inspiring with its vast, cosmic perspectives, and chilling in its unwavering honesty. The book maintains a natural balance between darkness and light, real and imagined memories, the waking state and dreams; sweeping us through an inner portal into what ancient Maya called Xibalba, the "place of awe," the underlying source of creation. The text's profound humility draws us into intimate appreciation for wildly diverse human expressions: politically engaged intellectuals with roots in Medieval Spain, extraordinary Latin American women whose lives unfold as spontaneous extensions of natural forces, and a narrative voice resonating with unrelenting love. One feels drawn reflexively into reverential regard for the living world and immersed in the acquired wisdom of experiential spirituality. I have been uplifted.
Robert Sitler
author of The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies, and Possibilities

Many meetings weave in and out of this splendid, heartbreaking novel. Meetings of multiple Americas, meetings between the living and the dead, meetings where dreams and reality, history and pain, deception and hope, intersect. But above all, what we meet in La Negra y Blanca is a ravishing wager that words can still birth us into the puzzle of existence, that we can all be mothers to one another as the storm approaches. Perhaps her best (and strangest) novel.
Ariel Dorfman
author of Death and the Maiden

This brave and heartrending novel reaches out to the soul, leads us through the traumas of history and weaves together in its characters the dialectic of past and present that marks us all.  Metzger illuminates the heritage each of us bears of the sorrows of Conquest and the poignancy of survival. La Negra y Blanca movingly depicts the price we pay for our too-large footprint on this earth and invites us to awaken and reach for a harmony with one another and a universe that has given us life. A splendid journey!
Nancy Caro Hollancer
author of Uprooted Minds: Surviving the Politics of Terror in the Americas

Deena Metzger has written a novel of great beauty, power and wisdom. It is a border-erasing, culture-leaping, time-and-space shattering inquiry into the re-visioned lives of Guatemalan-American writer Victor Perera, novelist and once Vice President of Guatemala Mario Monteforte Toledo and his daughter Morena, whose mother was a Tz’utujil Indian. Told from the perspective of the America writer Blanca (who the reader assumes is a fictional incarnation of the author), the novel follows the ripple effects of indigenous Latin America's conquest by Spain into contemporary reconquests of the region by dictatorship and imperial power, and on into the inter-woven lives of its protagonists living in both the U.S. and Guatemala. It is a meditation on memory historical and personal part vision quest, part detective novel. It bears witness to great historical and personal tragedy, to fraught relationships conditioned by politics, ethnicity and gender, to courageous resistance of spirit and creative genius in the face of injustice. It summons past and future into a shimmering invention of a present that is an act of love.
Robert David Cohen
U.S.- and Latin America-based American poet, journalist and former U.N. official

This beautiful book is not so much a novel as it is an exquisite tapestry, threads woven of word and spirit, blood and bone and heart. It is a complex weaving of fact and fiction; "realism" and the more-than-real, of the deep sorrow and rage of a violated land and violated peoples; and most of all, love. This book, this tapestry, will help us unweave the threads of this culture's ensnaring and near-total destructiveness, and will help us went our way back into the fabric of all life.
Derrick Jensen
author of A Language Older Than Words

This is a narrative of conquest and hope, domination and flight, surrender and transcendence. Wisdom leaks through misty realms between memory and imagination. Each character embodies the whole of the world. Divided by bloodlines, class, history and politics, all unite in a pilgrimage of hope. If ever I am headed to the afterworld and allowed to bring just one book, La Negra y Blanca would be the one.
Terry Marks-Tarlow
author of Psyche's Veil: Psychotherapy, Fractals and Complexity

An extraordinarily original, complex and beautiful novel that weaves the work of a witness into a haunting narrative founded on a stunning insight: without the capacity to imagine what is culturally alien to us, we cannot document and comprehend what Victor Perera calls "the unfinished Conquest." Perera, the Guatemalan journalist and essayist, is the narrator's central dialogue partner in her journey through the hell of recent Latin American history: he was her friend in real life and becomes her posthumous guide in the real of the spirit that the novel substantiates. Deena Metzger writes at the border between the North and the South, the dead and the living, memory and imagination, peoples and "responsible citizens," the future and the past, and that separates the space of love and possibility from the dark chambers where dissidents are tortured and women keep their real lives hidden from the men who seek to dominate them. And she invents a language of intimacy and splendor in which the quivering life of resistance to the ongoing Conquest is experienced as the beauty and hope that remain vital amidst the debris and mass graves of history. La Negra y Blanca is the crowning achievement of a life devoted to storytelling, tikkun olam, and tightrope walking on a thin cable spun between poetry and truth.
Marc Kaminsky
author of The Road from Hiroshima and Shadow Traffic


How To Order:

La Negra y Blanca is now available from the Book Clearing House, 800-431-1579, or visit their website at or through or order through your favorite independent bookstore.

ISBN-10: 0972071849
ISBN-13: 978-0972071840
Price: $18.95
Pages: 292
from Hand to Hand Publishing