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Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers

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Celebrate the witchiest women writers with beautiful illustrations and imaginative vignettes. Literary Witches draws a connection between witches and visionary writers: both are figures of formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery. Through poetic portraits, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan honor the witchy qualities of well-known and obscure authors alike, i Celebrate the witchiest women writers with beautiful illustrations and imaginative vignettes. Literary Witches draws a connection between witches and visionary writers: both are figures of formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery. Through poetic portraits, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan honor the witchy qualities of well-known and obscure authors alike, including Virginia Woolf, Mira Bai, Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, Octavia E. Butler, Sandra Cisneros, and many more. Perfect for both book lovers and coven members, Literary Witches is a treasure and a source of inspiration. Kitaiskaia and Horan bring fresh insights on your most beloved authors, suggest enchanting new writers, and invite you to rediscover the magic of literature.


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Celebrate the witchiest women writers with beautiful illustrations and imaginative vignettes. Literary Witches draws a connection between witches and visionary writers: both are figures of formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery. Through poetic portraits, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan honor the witchy qualities of well-known and obscure authors alike, i Celebrate the witchiest women writers with beautiful illustrations and imaginative vignettes. Literary Witches draws a connection between witches and visionary writers: both are figures of formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery. Through poetic portraits, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan honor the witchy qualities of well-known and obscure authors alike, including Virginia Woolf, Mira Bai, Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, Octavia E. Butler, Sandra Cisneros, and many more. Perfect for both book lovers and coven members, Literary Witches is a treasure and a source of inspiration. Kitaiskaia and Horan bring fresh insights on your most beloved authors, suggest enchanting new writers, and invite you to rediscover the magic of literature.

30 review for Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    ‘’Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark.’’ * If we come to think of it, Literature is a form of magic witnessed everywhere. We often say that books transport us into a universe of their own, into plac ‘’Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark.’’ * If we come to think of it, Literature is a form of magic witnessed everywhere. We often say that books transport us into a universe of their own, into places and worlds we may never visit in person. Writers use ‘’spells’’ made of words to reach our minds, our hearts and souls. To help us ‘’see’’ and understand. Now, let us turn our attention to women who chose to dwell on the paths of the literary world. Why were ‘’witches’’ called thus? Because they ‘’dared’’ decide their own fate, refusing to let men and society dictate their lives. Because they wanted a voice of their own and ‘’dared’’ to express it. This is what women writers achieved. They went against the current of their era, against prejudices, notions of propriety and any form of ‘’must’’ and ‘’must not’’. They used fables, Folklore, poetry, allegorical imagery to make their presence known. They showed that women have voices that can be heard far and wide, no matter how much certain people would like them to be silenced. They became the figures that turned dry literature into a mystical, haunting world. ‘’A bird of blue bones drops a piece of paper into your hand. The paper unfolds into a palace. You step in through the door. A cold wind blows through the hall, and you hear faint music. Each chord sounds a different note of silence. You keep going.’’ Enriched with beautiful, gothic-influenced portraits of each woman created by Katy Horan, whose work is simply marvelous, Taisia Kitaiskaia imagines the vastness of these women’s minds and the ‘’spells’’ they cast to revive and transform Literature forever, Well-known writers and quite a few obscure ones. It’s an immense pleasure to discover new women writers who delved into the realms of myths, feminism and short stories like Yumiko Kurahashi whose work I can’t wait to visit. The literary sceneries created by Kitaiskaia are powerful, haunting, terrifying in their directness and clarity. I was astonished by Horan’s illustrations. They embody the atmosphere and style of each writer in a way that no biography will ever be able to. ‘’At night, no matter what she does. Mary’s laboratory becomes a cemetary. Lantern becomes moon, instruments become shovels, tables turn to coffins. Mary sighs. She places her hand into the enormous, awkward paw of the waiting Creature, and they walk together among the graves.’’ What was lurking inside Emily Brontë’s mind as she conceived Heathcliff, one of the greatest characters in Literature? The haunting call for a love that anyone could defeat. How did Shirley Jackson achieve such amounts of horror in the heart of ordinary communities? When Eileen Chung created bitter tales of doomed love? Before Sylvia Plath chose an end that made Literature poorer and a little more mundane? When Anna Akhmatova gathered her pieces to attack one of the creators of Terror in the European continent? Joy Harjo wrote hymns to the wild nature that nurtured her ancestors. Sappho became the Tenth Muse. Emily Dickinson created elegies, wondering in the Amherst woods, Audre Lorde wrote about womanhood, sexuality and a haunting female universe. Angela Carter created violent masterpieces out of our favourite childhood fairytales. Zora Neale Hurston delved in strange ceremonies, created dark stories and became one of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Agatha Christie’s mind gave birth to exciting mysteries and wonderful, immortal characters. These are but a few of the Literary enchantresses that grace the pages of this beautiful book. The haunting, eerily moving writing by Kitaiskaia, the incredible artwork, the Recommended Reading sections will definitely please every lover of Literature, every reader who sees the literary world as a mystical, dark, soulful, ever-changing spell...Like female nature. ‘’And I’ve come to realize that the Witch is arguably the only female archetype that has power on its own terms. She is not defined by anyone else. Wife, sister, mother, virgin, whore - these archetypes draw meaning based on relationships with others. The Witch, however, is a woman who stands entirely on her own. She is more often than not an outsider and her gift is transformation. She is a change agent, and her work is sparked by speech, an incantation, a naming, a blessing, a curse…’’ * Forwarded by Pam Grossman * My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ron Charles

    Looking for the perfect Halloween gift for the nasty woman in your haunted house? Try "Literary Witches." It’s an enchanted anthology of 30 great female writers — from Anais Nin to Zora Neale Hurston. Each one is captured in a folkloric illustration by Katy Horan and then, on the facing page, illuminated with a bewitching description by Taisia Kitaiskaia. These mini biographies — “the hexen text” — are more witchopedia than wikipedia. Kitaiskaia boils each writer down to three invocations, weavin Looking for the perfect Halloween gift for the nasty woman in your haunted house? Try "Literary Witches." It’s an enchanted anthology of 30 great female writers — from Anais Nin to Zora Neale Hurston. Each one is captured in a folkloric illustration by Katy Horan and then, on the facing page, illuminated with a bewitching description by Taisia Kitaiskaia. These mini biographies — “the hexen text” — are more witchopedia than wikipedia. Kitaiskaia boils each writer down to three invocations, weaving historical facts with her own surreal visions. Emily Bronte, for instance, “Watcher of the Moors, Fantasy, and Cruel Romance,” “makes a telescope from ice and twine. Though this tunnel, she stares into her own eye until she sees a galaxy, and through the galaxy until she sees a stranger’s eye.” Gertrude Stein, “Madame of Roses, Geometry, and Repetition,” “is a spider, weaving a web of funhouse mirrors. . . . For Gertrude, each word is a hedgehog in a metal cage.” If you know the writers, these symbol-laced musings are evocative; if you don’t, they’re alluringly mysterious. . . . To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...

  3. 4 out of 5

    TheBibliotheque ♡

    “The Witch, however, is a woman who stands entirely on her own. She is more often than not an outsider, and her gift is transformation. She is a change agent, and her work is sparked by speech: an incantation, a naming, a blessing, a curse.” Literary Witches is a collection of female writers filled with gorgeously dark illustrations and a very creative way of listing all these formidable women and authors that have been empowering us throughout history. Each author has one illustration and one pa “The Witch, however, is a woman who stands entirely on her own. She is more often than not an outsider, and her gift is transformation. She is a change agent, and her work is sparked by speech: an incantation, a naming, a blessing, a curse.” Literary Witches is a collection of female writers filled with gorgeously dark illustrations and a very creative way of listing all these formidable women and authors that have been empowering us throughout history. Each author has one illustration and one page with an enchantment of sorts. This book is, in other words, the perfect Autumn indulgence.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jovana Autumn

    The world needs more feminist anthologies I liked this very much! The only reason why I gave 4/5 stars is because I would have loved to read more about each amazing woman in this book. I think that a few paragraphs can only tell you the basics and barely scratch the surface. As for the other aspect of the book: I loved the art style, it was perfect for this book. The overall reading experience was pleasant but I was a little disappointed because the book was short and didn't provide us with more The world needs more feminist anthologies I liked this very much! The only reason why I gave 4/5 stars is because I would have loved to read more about each amazing woman in this book. I think that a few paragraphs can only tell you the basics and barely scratch the surface. As for the other aspect of the book: I loved the art style, it was perfect for this book. The overall reading experience was pleasant but I was a little disappointed because the book was short and didn't provide us with more information. I do recommend picking this up though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    a little indulgent but rather beautiful

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Worth it for the art and reading recommendations though I wasn't enamored of the short, paragraph length mythic vingettes. Felt a touch onanistic to me. Worth it for the art and reading recommendations though I wasn't enamored of the short, paragraph length mythic vingettes. Felt a touch onanistic to me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Callum McLaughlin

    This gem of a book celebrates some of the most ground-breaking and inspiring female writers from throughout history. The title, and the book’s overarching theme, comes from the assertion that their way with words – their ability to conjure worlds and incite emotion – is in itself a kind of magic. Like those accused of witchcraft, many of these writers were vilified for refusing to adhere to societal expectations, but by challenging the norm and embracing their talent, they were able to forge the This gem of a book celebrates some of the most ground-breaking and inspiring female writers from throughout history. The title, and the book’s overarching theme, comes from the assertion that their way with words – their ability to conjure worlds and incite emotion – is in itself a kind of magic. Like those accused of witchcraft, many of these writers were vilified for refusing to adhere to societal expectations, but by challenging the norm and embracing their talent, they were able to forge their own power and agency. Each writer receives a double-page spread. On one side, we are presented with a stunningly surreal and suitably gothic portrait produced by Katy Horan. Drawing on iconography from their work to add subtlety and meaning, I could happily display each and every one on my wall. On the other page, we get a few short, third-person vignettes about the writer in question. Poetic, magical, and hugely evocative, they too draw on themes and ideas from the writer’s life and work to offer a unique and artistic snapshot of their experiences, inspiration, or mindset. Do they occasionally dip into self-indulgence? Arguably so. But the fairy tale-esque tone works perfectly within the context of the book’s framing. Here are a few excerpts from different writers’ sections to give you an idea of what to expect: On Jamaica Kincaid: ‘By day, the island of Antigua sleeps like a white, sandy lion. At night, the lion opens his jaws to swallow young girls whole. When her childhood ends, Jamaica fights her way out of the lion’s mouth and swims all the way to America. […] Jamaica puts a pot of soup on the stove. It is hearty with hurt, the hurt of nations and families. She leaves the house and goes about her business. By evening, the soup boils down to a thick black sludge. Jamaica scoops it up with her pen and writes.’ On Virginia Woolf: ‘Crossing the street on a rainy day, Virginia leaps easily from one pool of consciousness to another. She loves these puddles, the creatures wrapping around her ankles in each. But before she can get to the next street, Virginia sees her own pool: it floods with rain, rises higher, becomes a deep, turbulent river. She will not survive this one.’ On Mary Shelley: ‘At night, no matter what she does, Mary’s laboratory becomes a cemetery. Lantern becomes moon, instruments become shovels, tables turn to coffins. Mary sighs. She places her hand into the enormous, awkward paw of the waiting Creature, and they walk together among the graves.’ Following several such paragraphs for each writer, we have a brief, more traditional biographical note, as well as some recommended reads from their oeuvre. I was thrilled by how diverse this is. There’s a fantastic mix of literary giants and virtually unknown writers from across the world. I was reminded to pick up some of the greats, and discovered some fascinating new figures I’d love to learn more about. By not limiting itself to the widely accepted literary canon, we are also presented with lots of women of colour. Informative, creative, and beautifully presented, I know I will come back to this regularly, both to pick up recommendations, and to enjoy Horan’s gorgeous artwork. This would make a fantastic gift for anyone who loves literature, feminism, art, and a little dash of the uncanny. But don’t just get it for others. By all means, treat yourself to this little treasure trove.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Scavino

    If you are a mad/good feminist this is your book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mona AlvaradoFrazier

    If you want to learn about more women authors of note and what they've written, this short book can give you insight, both historical and personal. The illustrations are wonderfully symbolic. The author writes a brief comment that goes along with the sketch. The most valuable information is a listing of each author's works (prose or poetry). The only drawback is the brevity of the book, but it is a keeper. If you want to learn about more women authors of note and what they've written, this short book can give you insight, both historical and personal. The illustrations are wonderfully symbolic. The author writes a brief comment that goes along with the sketch. The most valuable information is a listing of each author's works (prose or poetry). The only drawback is the brevity of the book, but it is a keeper.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    4.5 stars I so wanted to read this book!! A tribute to great female writers, called Literary Witches: of course it could be nothing but great! And it is! First, I loved the illustrations, my favorites being for Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter and Alejandra Pizarnik. I gathered that each of them - and the three paragraphs for each of the witches - had a link to the themes dear to their hearts or heavily featured in their books. But, that's the first little "trouble" for me: to get the references, th 4.5 stars I so wanted to read this book!! A tribute to great female writers, called Literary Witches: of course it could be nothing but great! And it is! First, I loved the illustrations, my favorites being for Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter and Alejandra Pizarnik. I gathered that each of them - and the three paragraphs for each of the witches - had a link to the themes dear to their hearts or heavily featured in their books. But, that's the first little "trouble" for me: to get the references, the reader must, at least, know a little, or much, about each writer. And, for most of them, I knew next to nothing, or nothing at all. There is a little biography for each witch just after the three paragraphs, but it doesn't always shed light on the meaning of them. For all that, these paragraphs are prose poetry, so they are extremely beautiful to read, atmospheric, and the reader dives into the writers' universe, even without knowledge about them. It sets the tone for what the reader will find in the writers' books, when they'll read them after Literary Witches. But, I would have liked to get the references, such as for Angela Carter, Shirley Jackson or Mary Shelley. The good thing is I now want to read all of these writers and then reread this book to get them this time! There is a foreword in this book: it is really great, but it sets the bar really high and gives snippets of some paragraphs. Maybe it hyped the book too much for me? Maybe I already hyped it too much for myself? The thing is I expected more. Not more in terms of quality - it's a beautiful book and it's beautifully written -, more in terms of written content about the writers: I wanted more than three paragraphs because it was really good and I wanted to keep reading! So, I think I'll get myself a physical copy of this book, I'll proceed to read all of the writers presented here, and I'll get back to their description!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Divine Anas

    “Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark.’’ My friend once bought an Oracle Deck based on this novel and now that I bought this same deck as well, I was so curious to read the book. This is such “Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark.’’ My friend once bought an Oracle Deck based on this novel and now that I bought this same deck as well, I was so curious to read the book. This is such an alluring take and very educational book on beloved women writers and I'm so grateful to have read this! This is more like a succinct biography of the writers and a guidebook to their works. I also love how the preface ended with this: "We hope that you will celebrate them with us, read their works, and go out to create your own canon of Literary Witches." I'm slowly discovering female authors that resonate with me and have an instrumental impact in my growth so this parting message makes me more determined to read more "literary witches" that I discover on my own. This is truly a great guidebook and I love the lyrical poems Taisia wrote for each of the authors. AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE AMAZING ILLUSTRATIONS BY KATY HORAN! I really hope they have a second volume for this! “One thing is certain: a witch is almost always a “she.” And I’ve come to realize that the Witch is arguably the only female archetype that has power on its own terms. She is not defined by anyone else. Wife, sister, mother, virgin, whore—these archetypes draw meaning based on relationships with others. The Witch, however, is a woman who stands entirely on her own. She is more often than not an outsider, and her gift is transformation. She is a change agent, and her work is sparked by speech: an incantation, a naming, a blessing, a curse.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Prince William Public Libraries

    This is a unique little volume of female writers, and the provided reading lists for each author is a pretty good start to these ladies. Most of them were familiar, but there were a few women I wasn't aware of, but will certainly go into the queue now! The biographical information is a little plain, and the "witchy" descriptions may fall flat for people unaware of the goal of this book (the women in this series aren't actually witches; nor are these women necessarily writing about scary stuff, b This is a unique little volume of female writers, and the provided reading lists for each author is a pretty good start to these ladies. Most of them were familiar, but there were a few women I wasn't aware of, but will certainly go into the queue now! The biographical information is a little plain, and the "witchy" descriptions may fall flat for people unaware of the goal of this book (the women in this series aren't actually witches; nor are these women necessarily writing about scary stuff, but rather the authors have take the term "witch," and reclaimed it). My favorite aspect of this book is the illustrations--they're quite interesting, and very well done. They have a gothic-horror aesthetic to them, even if the author wasn't a gothic or horror author. As they mention there's no way that they could name every single fantastic literary woman, and I applaud them for adding women readers may not be familiar with (like Maria Sabina or Yumiko Kurahashi--unfamiliar to me, at least). I'm still waiting for one of these volumes celebrating fabulous women in history to invite Aphra Behn to the table (or even Elizabeth Gaskell, or Mary Astell, or Mary Chudleigh), but that's just my unyielding love for the subject of my MA thesis. We mostly know about Emily Bronte by now, yes? Not that I don't love the Brontes. --Amanda T.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Keely

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed the art and the "hexen text" was interesting, but I would have preferred more biographical information on the authors. Unfortunately the book concludes with a mention of animal cruelty as part of a religious ritual (page 127). To me that felt like a poor way to end the book and really left me with a negative feeling about the book as a whole, as if everything that may have been empowering about it was undone with this anecdote. Due to the fact that the book was fairly good up un I really enjoyed the art and the "hexen text" was interesting, but I would have preferred more biographical information on the authors. Unfortunately the book concludes with a mention of animal cruelty as part of a religious ritual (page 127). To me that felt like a poor way to end the book and really left me with a negative feeling about the book as a whole, as if everything that may have been empowering about it was undone with this anecdote. Due to the fact that the book was fairly good up until that point and that it really does provide a good starting point for discovering women authors I still gave it two stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa B. ♡

    2,5 stars This is a collection of some super mini bios about some great female authors, with a unique illustration for each of them, a small kind of poem and three recommendations. There was nothing "magical" or "Witchy" except for the small introduction. To be honest, I mostly skimmed through it and read the bios and book recommendations. The illustrations were really beautiful! 2,5 stars This is a collection of some super mini bios about some great female authors, with a unique illustration for each of them, a small kind of poem and three recommendations. There was nothing "magical" or "Witchy" except for the small introduction. To be honest, I mostly skimmed through it and read the bios and book recommendations. The illustrations were really beautiful!

  15. 4 out of 5

    e ♡

    absolutely captivating. a very witchy read for every witch out there ☆

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn

    I really enjoyed these short 1 page descriptions of famous women authors! First you get a very magical realism description of their witchy self, which is usually intertwined with their most famous work. And then you get a biographical paragraph outlining their life. This book is really just a short list of authors from around the world you should read over your lifetime. Also, super big bonus, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    This little gem features thirty inspiring and creative women writers throughout history. Each receives a full page illustration followed by a vignette of their literary powers full of magic realism. Each ends with a short bio of their achievements followed by recommended reading. The illustrations are lovely and the brief introduction to each writer celebrates their ability to "conjure worlds out of words". Literary Witches is a book full of both well known and obscure writers and I enjoyed brows This little gem features thirty inspiring and creative women writers throughout history. Each receives a full page illustration followed by a vignette of their literary powers full of magic realism. Each ends with a short bio of their achievements followed by recommended reading. The illustrations are lovely and the brief introduction to each writer celebrates their ability to "conjure worlds out of words". Literary Witches is a book full of both well known and obscure writers and I enjoyed browsing the pages over the course of an afternoon. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  18. 4 out of 5

    Story

    Some interesting choices but not Kitaiskaia's decision to not include Margaret Atwood, witchiest woman of "formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery" of all, disappointed me. Some interesting choices but not Kitaiskaia's decision to not include Margaret Atwood, witchiest woman of "formidable creativity, empowerment, and general badassery" of all, disappointed me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    angélique violette monroe

    this was a whimsical little thing, not what i was expecting. i was expecting more of an informational text while this was more akin towards the books me and the other students would fight over in middle school. i loved the anecdote for each author, i honestly believe that every author is a witch or has some magic inside of them. did not take that long to read which is unfortunate because i wanted more, i craved it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    l.

    A cute and pointless little book. I like the art.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madeline O'Rourke

    I read this review which described Literary Witches as "a touch onanistic." Though I did have to look up the definition, I completely agree. For each woman writer included in this collection there is a gorgeous illustration, a three-part poetic text, and a brief bio line with reading recommendations. Said like that, it kind of sounds like a lot, but it's not. Now I guess, strictly speaking, there's nothing wrong with how the book was designed and presented, it just didn't work for me. I've never I read this review which described Literary Witches as "a touch onanistic." Though I did have to look up the definition, I completely agree. For each woman writer included in this collection there is a gorgeous illustration, a three-part poetic text, and a brief bio line with reading recommendations. Said like that, it kind of sounds like a lot, but it's not. Now I guess, strictly speaking, there's nothing wrong with how the book was designed and presented, it just didn't work for me. I've never been one for the more mystical, deifying arm of feminism. I don't think it's bad, just not my thing. If that is your thing, though, Literary Witches would be a great read. My disinclination for these kinds of poems and stories is more or less rooted in that sense of onanism. I just didn't want to read these glorifying (and confusing) poetic pieces about these writers. I wanted to know about them, the writers. I wanted the informative bios, but longer. I have, however, walked away with the names of some writers that I want to check out. Importantly, it's a diverse list of women, too. So I think that there is a particular audience that would love Literary Witches. This audience—me—wasn't it, though. I liked it; I'm happy to have read it; that's all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Travelling Bookworm

    "Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark." -- Welcome to a biography like you have never seen before. In this curious little grimoire, extraordinary female writers' lives are merged with magic and fantasy in poetic, playful, and imaginative words. In its beautifully illustrated pages, Virginia Woolf is designated the Guardian "Witches and women writers alike dwell in creativity, mystery and other worlds. They aren’t afraid to be alone in the woods of their imaginations or to live in huts of their own making. They’re not afraid of the dark." -- Welcome to a biography like you have never seen before. In this curious little grimoire, extraordinary female writers' lives are merged with magic and fantasy in poetic, playful, and imaginative words. In its beautifully illustrated pages, Virginia Woolf is designated the Guardian of the waters, the porcelain, and the lexicon. Agatha Christie is crowned the Grand Dame of trickery, murder, and teatime. Sappho becomes the Siren of the lyre, honey, and ruins. Shirley Jackson casts a spell as the Witch of villages, domestic horrors, and omens. This is one to pick up over time, flip to a page at random and reread to find inspiration and a wonderful book recommendation all at once.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Savvy

    Such a beautiful and super cool little book. Stay witchy. 🖤

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A fun, unique way of looking at the literary world's lionesses, as it were, including many well-known writers, but also some I'm entirely unfamiliar with, but will be seeking out. A fun, unique way of looking at the literary world's lionesses, as it were, including many well-known writers, but also some I'm entirely unfamiliar with, but will be seeking out.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angelina

    An unusual take on the life and work of some women writers. It was fun to explore plus I learned about some authors I hadn’t previously heard of.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Willemijn

    ‘And I’ve come to realize that the Witch is arguably the only female archetype that has powers on its own terms. She is not defined by anyone else.’

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Brett

    A charming, cohesive, beautiful & whimsical collection of art & creative writing about some of the best women writers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    Really torn between a 3 and a 4. Gorgeous, ethereal, witchy, disturbing portraits of the 30 authors featured (the art is my favorite part of this book). Each author given an honorific, and three flash fiction-esque blurbs about them. Small paragraph bio, and recommended reads. I really enjoyed this book and/but wasn't as smitten as I wanted to be. The flash fiction-y portions were either fabulous (from Emily Bronte, "He'll come in, Emily dreams, like the winds she walks against -- muscular gusts Really torn between a 3 and a 4. Gorgeous, ethereal, witchy, disturbing portraits of the 30 authors featured (the art is my favorite part of this book). Each author given an honorific, and three flash fiction-esque blurbs about them. Small paragraph bio, and recommended reads. I really enjoyed this book and/but wasn't as smitten as I wanted to be. The flash fiction-y portions were either fabulous (from Emily Bronte, "He'll come in, Emily dreams, like the winds she walks against -- muscular gusts, clenched hands snarling under her coats.") or felt really uninspired (Agatha's three blurbs focused so deeply on plots from her books, there was nothing of the woman there). Some diversity in terms of representing women of color; predominantly English-language, US/UK authors.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ireland

    Poetic and absolutely spellbinding. This was one of those books that I both wanted to savor slowly and finish in one sitting. The illustrations and prose that accompany them are so inspiring. I have added so many books and poems to my TBR because of this book! Such a wonderful celebration of extraordinary women writers.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leah Rachel von Essen

    Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers is beautiful, sensuous, and fun. It draws from the deep historical association between strong (dangerous) womanhood and witchcraft to portray a wide, diverse array of women authors as witches. Each author has a small bio accompanied by recommended reading, a mythic, folkloric strange vignette based on the author and her writing about her activities as a witch by Taisia Kitaiskaia, and a haunting portrait by Katy Horan. Some of the vignette Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers is beautiful, sensuous, and fun. It draws from the deep historical association between strong (dangerous) womanhood and witchcraft to portray a wide, diverse array of women authors as witches. Each author has a small bio accompanied by recommended reading, a mythic, folkloric strange vignette based on the author and her writing about her activities as a witch by Taisia Kitaiskaia, and a haunting portrait by Katy Horan. Some of the vignettes felt more connected to the authors than others, and some of the biographies had small errors in their attempt to be short and mysterious, which I found annoying. I adored the more poetic ones, like Anaïs Nin and Mary Shelley and their connections to their lives, the ones that really linked the author’s magic to her words or the stories she loved to tell. Some seemed a bit more forced—for example, I didn’t like Virginia Woolf’s “wolf child,” since it formed a strange connection to her childless life, while I did like the idea of her being a lighthouse in a flood of consciousnesses she can’t quite escape, which made sense for me having read much of her works and her diary. For the most part, this is a truly lovely book, fun and a fantastic gift. I recommend it for women writers and revolutionaries out there, for feminist writers of all genders and sexualities, for those who have a love for the mythic and for witchcraft.

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