LITERARY WITCHES: A CELEBRATION OF MAGICAL WOMEN WRITERS is a collaboration between Taisia Kitaiskaia and artist Katy Horan. The book reimagines 30 female authors as true witches: not hook-nosed creatures riding on brooms, but figures of radical creativity, originality, and empowerment. Each witch is celebrated with a surreal vignette by Taisia Kitaiskaia and a full-color portrait by artist Katy Horan. Brief biographies and recommended reading lists round out each entry, and a foreword by author, podcast host, and practicing witch Pam Grossman contextualizes the figure of the witch and her connection to language.
The book offers new ways to think about celebrated literary figures, from Toni Morrison (Queen of Miracles, Generations, and Memory) to Emily Dickinson (Specter of Windows, Flies, and the Unexpected) and Agatha Christie (Grand Dame of Trickery, Murder, and Teatime). Lesser-known authors are included too, such as Janet Frame, a writer from New Zealand who spent most of her twenties in psychiatric wards; Yumiko Kurahashi, a Japanese writer of bizarre, twisted fairy tales; and Maria Sabina, an indigenous healer from Mexico who improvised poetry during ceremonies. Taken together, the profiles are a tribute to the very real magic of literature and those who create it.
"Wondrous... haunting... vibrant. A lovely compendium of impressionistic sketches, fusing biographical facts with flights of the invocational imagination." — Brain Pickings
"Kitaiskaia’s visions are delightfully uncanny… Literary Witches: A celebration of magical women writers is a compendium of bookish saints, lavishly and bodily portrayed by Horan.” — The Times Literary Supplement
"Literary Witches is itself an act of witchcraft, a spellbook to wake the living and the dead. Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan have conjured lucid, intuitive, psychoactive visions of how these brilliant women writers have inhabited space and time. Transformative, revivifying, gorgeous, unsettling, and intensely moving, this book is a volume of poetry, miniature encyclopedia, and twenty-first-century illuminated manuscript all at once. I'll treasure this book like a lucky object and return to it whenever I need courage, or mischief, or beauty, or permission." — Jia Tolentino, writer for The New Yorker
"Gorgeous illustrations accompany profiles of female writers from every genre, identity and era conceivable. As necessary a project as I can imagine in this day and age, this is art, poetry and history marshaled together in tremendous, joyful celebration."―Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, writing for NPRs Guide to 2017s Great Reads