Readers have always known that literature is a special form of magic, and the authors who practice it are wizards with their words, but now there is a book that honors that very idea. Literary Witches is a unique title that celebrates just how magical women writers really are. It may be too late for Halloween, but this gorgeous book will make the perfect holiday gift for the bookish witch in your life.
A collaboration between writer Taisia Kitaiskaia and illustrator Katy Horan, Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers reimagines 30 famous female authors as powerful witches, but not the wicked kind you might expect. Instead of portraying them as pointy hat-wearing, broomstick-riding, green-skinned villains, this unique collection attempts to represent each writer's true powers: creativity, originality, and empowerment.
Each entry features a fun and fictional bio in vignette form inspired by the author's life and work, as well as a breathtaking, full-color portrait that imagines the author as their witchy alter egos. Recommended reading lists and real biographical information accompany the author profiles, and help to shed a new light on each literary witch and their particular power for conjuring great works of art.
Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers by Taisia Kitaiskaia, illustrated by Katy Horan, $13, Amazon
A great gift book for both book-lovers and the coven members alike, Literary Witches is both a testament to the talent of existing women writers, and a source of inspiration for the next generation of them. It takes a brand new approach to thinking about, talking about, and celebrating the works of remarkable women across the literary world, and it asks readers to recognize the undeniable connection between witches and talented writers. Not only are they are both intensely creative, but like witches, badass female writers are also fiercely independent, and personally empowered to craft their own stories and shape their own lives. Women writers might not have magic wands, but their bodies of work prove just how powerful the pen really can be, and this book shows readers exactly that.
Inside Literary Witches, you will find brand new representations of some of your favorite female writers, including Octavia Butler, Virginia Woolf, Sandra Cisneros, Zora Neale Hurston, and dozens more. Each celebrated author is portrayed as a stunning witch with remarkable powers of their own. Thanks to her beautiful and observant poetry, Emily Dickinson is depicted as Specter of Windows, Flies, and the Unexpected. Toni Morrison, the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award-winning novelist and essayist best known for her intimate portrayals of blackness and womanhood, is embodied as Queen of Miracles, Generations, and Memory.
Alongside these literary legends are lesser-known but equally remarkable women you may not have heard of, but who you will want to start reading immediately. Japanese writer Yumiko Kurahashi's entry celebrates her bizarre fairy tales and bestows upon her the title of Sibyl of Masks, Extraterrestrial Eggs, and Twisted Fantasies. Like her own writing, the wiccan title Mexican poet and healer Maria Sabina was given — Shaman of Dew, Hummingbirds, and Mushroom Language — is as beautiful as it is lyrical .
A truly global collection, Literary Witches is an inclusive book that strives to feature famous women writers from across time and around the globe. In doing so, it helps create a small but diverse look at just some of the many craftswomen who have shaped the literary world into the magical one we know today. It stands as a tribute to the remarkable women writers and their works, and serves to inspire the next generation of literary witches.
In case you are still looking for the perfect gift for the magical reader or writer in your life, Literary Witches can fill in the gaps left under your Christmas tree.