In Art Is Everything, L.A. native Amanda Ruiz is a successful Chicana performance artist who is madly in love with her girlfriend, Xochitl. Amanda is about to enjoy a residency at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and plans to film a groundbreaking documentary in Mexico. Then Xochitl’s biological clock begins beeping, Amanda’s father dies, and Amanda is assaulted during an Uber ride. Her life and art are upended and she’s not sure how to get back on track. Written as a series of web posts, Instagram essays, Snapchat posts, rejected Yelp reviews, Facebook screeds, and streams-of-consciousness that merge volcanic confession with eagle-eyed art criticism, Art Is Everything is about a woman who has to grapple with being derailed.
After earning her J.D. at Stanford Law School, Yxta Maya Murray clerked for two judges and then joined the Loyola Law School faculty in 1995. Recipient of an Art Writer’s Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, she published a one-act play about the Christine Blasey Ford hearings, titled Advice and Consent (LARB Books 2019) and was named a finalist for the National Magazine Awards in Fiction. Her scholarly work focuses on Community Constitutionalism, Criminal Law, Property Law, Gender Justice, and Law and Literature. Professor Murray has published in a number of law journals, where her most recent work concerns FEMA’s failures in Puerto Rico. As a novelist and art critic, she has published six books and won a 1999 Whiting Writer’s Award. Her seventh novel, Art Is Everything, is being published by TriQuarterly Books. When she is not teaching, reading, or writing, Murray enjoys running, photography, painting, and eating.