WE WERE WITCHES: a feminist journey through the Bush Sr. administration

Ariel is teen mother who buys into the dream that education is the road out of poverty. She exercises a startling amount of strength and determination to get into college and secure housing for herself and her infant daughter. But once she’s there, she quickly learns that it’s still a man’s world. And young single mothers are not welcome.

We Were Witches documents the survival of a demonized single lesbian mother as she’s thrust into a surprise custody dispute, surrounded by homophobia, and struggling against the George HW Bush administration’s vendetta against anyone who challenges their definition of conventional family values.

Throughout her tribulations, she strives to provide a life for her daughter where women create the narrative shape that fits their own story.

On the first page of We Were Witches, Ariel Gore describes Sylvia Plath as “a casualty of the soft, feathery war between art and motherhood.” This heartbreaking and poignant prose flows consistently throughout the entire book. Seriously, have a highlighter handy.

We Were Witches is part memoir, part magical realism, part how-to for fledgling witches. And it’s 100% Ariel Gore, the writer I secretly (until now) think of as my punk rock big sister.  As she does in all her work, Gore nails what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a partner, and a lover in a way no one else can. We Were Witches is about Ariel Gore’s journey, but it will make you see your own more clearly.

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