Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan – A Collection of Magical Women Writers – A Post a Day in May

Taisia Kitaiskaia’s Literary Witches – A Collection of Magical Women Writers, illustrated by Katy Horan, is similar to We Are Artists, the book I wrote about two days ago. Only this time, it’s not women artists but writers from around the world that are celebrated.

In thirty chapters, Kitaiskaia and Horan pay homage to as many writers. Some like Emily Brontë, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, and Toni Morrison are well known. Others, like Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad or Argentinian poet Alejandra Pizarnik, might be a little less familiar. Or, at least, I didn’t know them. The wide range allows many readers to discover new names.

Here is the Table of Contents.

The biggest difference between this and We Are Artists is the way it is presented. The biographies are only one paragraph long and not seven pages like in the book about artists. The illustrations also depict the women and something that symbolizes their writing.

Additionally to the biographical paragraph, you find, on the same page, three fictional paragraphs, inspired by the authors. You could call them flash fiction pieces. They are dreamlike explorations of the writer’s consciousness.

What I liked best are the illustrations. I think Katy Horan is terrific. And I also find the biographical paragraphs useful, especially because there’s also a list of the most important works of the authors.

To give you a better idea I’ve chosen three chapters that should help illustrate the book.

Virginia Woolf’s chapter

And Shirley Jackson

And Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad

Literary Witches was published in 2017 and I think I’ve had it since then. I pick it up quite frequently as I like it very much. It’s not the kind of book that I read from beginning to end, more one that I browse.

10 thoughts on “Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan – A Collection of Magical Women Writers – A Post a Day in May

    • It was the cover with Woolf on it that first caught my eye. Like with Frida Kahlo, put Virginia Woolf on something and I’ll be attracted. It’s perfect for dipping in.

  1. This looks like a fascinating book, Caroline! Thanks for sharing the contents page! Many new-to-me poets are there. Loved the pages you shared from the book. Love the three sections. The artwork is beautiful too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and introducing us to this beautiful book.

    • Thanks, Vishy. I’m glad you like it. It’s beautifully illustrated and just a nice book to dip in. I discovered new-to-me poets and writers too. It’s fascinating.

  2. Thank you for offering a glimpse into “Literary Witches”! This masterpiece has been on my wish list for a long time… It depicts my favourite creative women and has a playful witchy aesthetic, which I adore.

  3. Pingback: Wild Women and Books by Brenda Knight – Bibliophiles, Bluestockings, and Prolific Pens – A Post a Day in May | Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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