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With spells, this book vindicates the female writers and their important role in a struggle that seeks political, social, economic and sexual equity
What is it about?
The Literary Witches Oracle. a 70-card Deck and Guidebook, is a book that collects a short biography of 30 women of different races, nationalities, conditions and social classes with the aim of vindicating the authors who for a long time have been relegated because they do not conform and seek to get out of the mold imposed on them because they are women.
The selection that was made is very varied and it makes visible authors of whom little is heard about, at the same time that it shows the authors that we all already know, but to whom perhaps we have not approached. Among the authors of canon, we find Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Silvia Plath, Emily Brönte, Mary Shelley, Agatha Christie, Toni Morrison, etc. On the other hand, among the little-known authors we find Audre Lorde, Joy Harjo, Eileen Chang, Jamaica Kincaid, Anna Akhmatova, etc.
With the premise that the authors are like witches because they have been considered as bad women or dangerous women for being more than just mothers, this book uses a spell speech to show why these authors are extremely important in the world of literature.
Who wrote it?
Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan are the authors of this book. Kitaiskaia wrote it and Horan illustrated it.
According to her website, Kitaiskaia is a Russian-American writer and poet. So far he has published two books: Literary Witches and Ask Baba Yaga, both published in 2017. His poetry has been published in several literary magazines such as Gulf Coast, Fence, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Pleiades, and Guernica; likewise, her poetry was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, an American literary prize that seeks to recognize poetry, short fiction, and literary essays. Her love and inclination towards poetry can be seen in her writing, which, even in prose, has poetic nuances.
Katy Horan is an American illustrator who studied fine arts and has a specialization in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited her work in various parts of the United States and Canada and has been published in the books Fantagraphics' Beasts!, The Exquisite Book and Dark Inspiration II. According to its website, she has its own statement in which she focuses on working on the investigation and examination of female roles through history and mythology, this from literature, music, and folklore. This allowed her to carry out an ecliptic work with the illustrations for The literary witches oracle.
Do I read it or not?
In recent years we have seen the boom in books that collect women's stories, illustrate them and publish them either in a single volume or in several. The book that brought all this possibly has been Goodnight Tales for rebellious girls, which already has two volumes. And although Literary Witches is not far from this format, it is considered original to seek to bring the public to these authors from this format and the idea that the authors, to get out of the clogging that is usually given to the feminine They are witches.
It is a book that is read extremely fast and does not delve substantially into each of them but seeks to be an appetizer to those who are interested in knowing a little about some authors. I consider that the plus of this book is given in two aspects: the first is that it gives visibility to authors who are not known at all by making use of the canonical author's recollection, in this way, who buys the book because he is a fan of Virginia Woolf or from Silvia Plath, you will meet unknown authors like Eileen Chang. The second is that both writing and illustration are very thought to play with the idea of witches, there is a clear need to keep this aspect always present and achieved throughout the book.
I recommend, then, read this book as a preliminary approach to the authors who share, but always taking into account that after knowing a little more about them, we must read them more than read about them.
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Translated from "Latam Booklook: 'Brujas literarias' de Taisia Kataiskaia y Katy Horan"