I have received a free copy of Literary Witches from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Book Review: Literary Witches – A Magical Celebration of Female Literary Greats
Literary Witches is a unique celebration of female authors and poets which mixes facts with small imaginative fictions. These are spun from the mythos surrounding these exceptional women. Literary Witches is an enriching and uplifting testament to a multicultural swathe of talented female storytellers.
Literary Witches subscribes to the idea that the witch as a traditional archetype in storytelling is one of the few that are not defined by their relationship to men. Indeed, that they are creative and independent creatures who have been feared and persecuted over the centuries for their power. Female authors have been similar figures in the public consciousness of the past; either adored, reviled or brushed under the carpet by literary canon. All for choosing to walk another path than the ordinary.
The book discusses thirty women in total. Each entry begins with three vignettes by Taisia Kitaiskaia about the literary witch. These combine real facts with surreal imagined visions that evoke the spirit of their work. Next, there is a paragraph about the woman’s life followed by three well thought out and explained recommended reading picks. Accompanying the text are unusual and imaginative works of art by Katy Horan. These perfectly accompany the entries dedicated to each literary witch.
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The book is well-designed and can be enjoyed in any order. However, I would advise reading the introduction first which explains the reasoning behind certain aspects of the entries.
Literary Witches offers you the opportunity to explore a range of talent, both familiar and unfamiliar. The book includes some well-loved favorites such as Emily Bronte, Agatha Christie, Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf. They share pages with lesser-known yet equally gifted ladies like Janet Frame, Alejandra Pizarnik, and Yumiko Kurahashi. While I recognize a great number of the female creators included in Literary Witches, there were also many I had yet to meet. I have since made several additions to my to-be-read list.
I find that some of the vignettes work better than others. But, they were, overall, a unique and intriguing aspect of the book.
An excellent, thoughtful gift for anyone in your life who has a fascination with female creativity, the mysterious or the magical.
Content Note: The main text entries have no explicit content. However, some of the illustrations have some nudity which is highly stylized and non-sexual. Also, some of the recommended reading may include explicit content. However, the book does give some indication if this is so.
“You had me at hello.”