Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers

Image of Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers
Release Date: 
October 10, 2017
Seal Press
Reviewed by: 

"This slender little book . . . is a treasure."

This slender little book, Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia and illustrated by Katy Horan is a treasure. Kitaiskaia has selected 30 extraordinary literary women, each who have a story to tell, and shares with the reader why they are so easily considered “witches.”

She covers each author in three pages; the first page is quite simply the name, what she is known for, and her birth and death dates. The second page is an exquisite illustration of the author crafted by Katy Horan. The third page is the kicker. Kitaiskaia assigns three descriptive words to each woman, continues with three mysterious and witchy paragraphs, and ends with a short paragraph about the author’s life and recommended readings.

Among her witches are Emily Bronte, Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, Jamaica Kincaid, Agatha Christie, and even dipping into Greek history with Sappho. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. There are names easily recognized and names totally foreign, and yet becoming familiar with each is a learning process that entices one to pick up a poem or essay or novel or short story to visit with any of these particular witches and become entranced.

This is a book easily read in one setting, but don’t be fooled. To be fully digested, one will return time and again, picking different authors and becoming enraptured with each.

A Foreword by Pam Morrison introduces us to how the word “witch” has been selected for these descriptions. She applauds the book’s author and illustrator as well as providing brief insight into these 30 extraordinary women.

This slender volume belongs on any coffee table. We can only hope that in the not too distant future, more Literary Witches will appear.