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Book Celebrates 'Literary Witches'

The cover of "Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers."
Courtesy of Taisia Kitaiskaia
The cover of "Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers."

Book Celebrates 'Literary Witches'
Book Celebrates 'Literary Witches' GUEST:Taisia Kitaiskaia, author, "Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers"

This Halloween a very special kind of magical woman is being celebrated in a new book. You may be thinking wonder woman. Good guess. But you would be wrong. The magical women in question are women who right. Figures as Mike -- next guest calls them as women with originality and empowerment. And because writing is there magic spell book calls the literary witches. It has works from 30 women writers some familiar like Agatha Christie like Janet frame. Joining me is [inaudible]. The author of the anthology literary witches women writers. Welcome to the program. Why call these women witches? It is a name that has been used to condemn women for centuries.The way I understand which is a being that is wise, powerful, that has creativity, who is at home with herself and the universe. And has access to the most serious vesicle mysterious forces in the world and transform them into wonderful objects. The which is the only female archetype that is not female -- defined by her relationships to men, children, beauty, fertility. She stands out as a feminist figure for me.How did you choose the women writers?They have to have qualities of owning their imaginations. Their particular visions. And their particular ways of navigating language. Not only channeling powerful mysterious experiences, but creating those experiences in storytelling and words. They had to be a little mysterious, a little alluring. But a strong writer at the height of her powers.You have very well known writers like Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Tony Morrison, Emily Brontë, there are lesser-known figures here and perhaps the most unusual choice is Maria Sabina.Maria Sabina is wonderful. She stands out because she is a oral poet. She was a intend -- indigenous Mexican poet. She used hallucinogenic mushrooms to conduct healing ceremonies for the ill, people who are having troubles in their lives, sometimes psychic or physical medical problems. As she conducted ceremonies, she would chant and improvise poetry. All of which was surreal. It takes into account the imagery and mythology of her local folklore as well as Catholic themes. Struck up a critique in the New Yorker called literary witches a volume of poetry and an illuminated manuscript for the 21st century. Can you describe the format to us and how each rider is introduced.Katie Moran my collaborator and illustrator of the book and I did is we created 30 portraits and art and text of these writers. One per writer. Katie paints faces to my taxed. My text is three short paragraph. The vignettes are essentially my imaginative take on what makes these women special. What makes them remarkable. What is their -- magic. And Katie did the same with the paintings. We like to think that together they face each other and together they make one big portrait.You also provided practical information in terms of recommended reading for each of the authors.We did not just want to celebrate and channel our own visions of the authors in the book. We also wanted to make them more accessible for a leader who might come across this book. If you are intrigued by the portraits, go to the bookstore and buy a book from our recommended reading list and discover the author for yourself.Tell us about one of the authors you discovered in making this book.One of the witches that continues to heart that is a hot Katie an eye is Octavia Butler. It is a black -- she was a black woman who wrote in the 70s until her death in 2006 in a very white and male dominated genre of science fiction. Her novels and stories are really dark but philosophically [inaudible]. What she does is creates these tales often starring black female protagonists that explore the human drive to subjugate and the power dynamics between genders, races, species. They are ponderous and thought-provoking. She predicted something actually that was spooky in her 1998 novel parable the talents. She wrote about a politician who rises to power through the slogan make America great again. We are actually working on Octavia's portrait when the election was going on. Sometimes the work is little uncomfortably real. But it is rewarding.The book presents whimsical introductions to the work of 30 women writers. I have been speaking to the author of that anthology tight EC at a sky. The book is called literary witches a celebration of magical women writers. Thank you so much .thank you so much for having me this was lots of fun.

Halloween is the day to celebrate witches.

A new book, "Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers," helps readers celebrate witches throughout the year.


Taisia Kitaiskaia, the author of "Literary Witches," said a witch is a figure of radical creativity, originality and empowerment.

The book provides a "surreal vignette," brief biography and suggested reading for each of the 30 female authors included.

Kitaiskaia will join Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss her inspiration for the book.