Vendor
Fritz Agency
Published by
Sarah Crichton Books (October 2015)
Current material
E-Galley
Themas
Religion & beliefs
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WITCHES OF AMERICA

by Mar, Alex

When most people hear the word "witches," they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic.

WITCHES OF AMERICA follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world's most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters: a government employee who founds a California priesthood dedicated to a Celtic goddess of war; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose elaborate ceremonies turn the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who practice a radical separatist witchcraft; a growing "mystery cult" whose initiates trace their rites back to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible-or hopes might be.

With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.

Alex Mar has contributed to The Believer, the Oxford American, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, New York magazine, and other publications. Mar is also the director of the documentary feature film American Mystic. Witches of America is her first book.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Fritz Agency
Christian Dittus

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Comments

Witches of America is brave and sharp and tenaciously researched. I would never have described myself as someone 'interested in witchcraft'?Alex Mar's book left me feeling the fault had been mine. ? John Jeremiah Sullivan

Quote: Blurb

An open-minded, fascinating journey into the world of modern American paganism.

Review: Booklist

An expertly crafted spiritual journey . . . Witches, priests and priestesses, and even a necromancer receive a sympathetic, humanizing treatment as Mar encourages empathy for the 'outer edges' of society. Mar writes with clarity and candor, provides ample background information, and is neither preachy nor cheesy. She presents all her subjects as interesting individuals . . . Whatever one's spiritual inclinations, Mar's search for 'something transcendent' is bewitching. (starred review)

Review: Publishers Weekly

An enchanting and addictive report shedding much-needed light on a spiritualistic community obfuscated by historical misinterpretation and pop-culture derision.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

A top-notch read for pagans and open-minded seekers curious about the fascinating beginnings of American witchcraft and some of the various directions its form is taking. (starred review)

Review: Library Journal

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