Yxta Maya Murray

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yxta Maya Murray
Los Angeles, California
  • Novelist
  • professor
  • writer
Notable awardsWhiting Award (1999)

Yxta Maya Murray is an American Latina novelist and professor at Loyola Marymount School of Law.[1]


Murray graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles and received her JD from Stanford University with distinction. She teaches at Loyola Law School.[2]

Her writing has appeared in Buzz, Glamour, and ZYZZYVA,[3] and her novel "The Conquest" won the 1999 Whiting Award.[4]


Locas - "Murray perfectly captures the patois and fury of the Mexican women..." and "The reader equipped with a Spanish-English dictionary has the best chance to grasp all the nuances of this convincing, under-the-skin work.",[5] "It's that predictable both in plot and texture." and "A female Scarface, this straightforward narrative charts the rise and fall of Latin gangsters on L.A.'s mean streets with considerable documentary fervor but not much depth.",[6] "Even if Locas is as persuasive and true-sounding as a smart documentary, Murray keeps her novel as tight as her main character keeps her mind..."[7]

What it Takes to Get to Vegas - "The suffering hero, the bullet in the gut, come to think of it, this does sound like The Natural, doesn't it? But the boxing story works, told to us by a femme fatale for whom we can feel much sympathy.",[8] "uneven but arresting" and "Readable and intelligent, though this writer of promise and ferocious energy needs to scrutinize her subject matter a little more deeply."[9]

The Conquest - "Another ponderous and trendy novel from Murray..." and "A fluid and genuinely interesting story badly weighed down by leaden prose ... and a thoroughly hackneyed view of Latin American history.",[10] "The subplot about Sara's literary sleuthing ties the two stories neatly together and gives the book a satisfying edge of suspense."[11]

The Queen Jade - "Fiery beauties and rakish hunks can't enliven this overblown melodrama.",[12] "These entertaining characters are all sharply drawn, and the depiction of the teeming jungle is breathtaking. But Murray is less successful at conveying the mythos of the Queen Jade and the history of its pursuit."[13]

The King's Gold: An Old World Novel of Adventure - "In heroine Sanchez, Murray has created a perfect counterweight to the traditional macho hero."[14]

The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped - " This may not be great literature, but it holds strong appeal for teens who can't get enough street lit.",[15] "This fast-paced story, heavy with street dialogue and slang, should have ample teen appeal."[16]


  • Locas. Grove Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0-8021-3564-3.
  • What It Takes to Get to Vegas. Grove Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-8021-3737-1.
  • The Conquest: A Novel. HarperCollins. 2003. ISBN 978-0-06-009360-0. (reprint)
  • The Queen Jade: A Novel. HarperCollins. 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-058264-7. (reprint)
  • The King's Gold: An Old World Novel of Adventure. Harper. 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-089108-4.
  • The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped, Razorbill (January 7, 2010) ISBN 978-1-59514-272-6
  • Art Is Everything. Northwestern University Press. 2020. ISBN 978-0-8101-4292-3.[17]




  1. ^ Staff writer. "Yxta Maya Murray". lareviewofbooks.org. Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Murray, Yxta M. - Loyola Law School, Los Angeles".
  3. ^ "Fiction from Zyzzyva". Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  4. ^ Vinh, Alphonse. "Musing: "The Conquest"". www.npr.org. National Public Radio. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Locas". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Locas". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media. 1 March 1997. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  7. ^ Wagley, Catherine (11 January 2013). "Best L.A. Novel Ever: Chester Himes' If He Hollers Let Him Go vs. Yxta Maya Murray's Locas". Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  8. ^ Wedge, Phil (2000). "Yxta Maya Murray. What It Takes to Get to Vegas" (PDF). Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature. East Tennessee State University. 17 (2): 196–197. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  9. ^ "What It Takes To Get To Vegas". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media. 15 May 1999. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  10. ^ "The Conquest". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  11. ^ "The Conquest". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  12. ^ "The Queen Jade". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  13. ^ "The Queen Jade". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  14. ^ "The King's Gold". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  15. ^ "The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  16. ^ "The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  17. ^ Murray, Yxta Maya. "Art Is Everything". nupress.northwestern.edu. Northwestern University Press. Retrieved 5 May 2020.

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