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Originally published in France in 2018, this fascinating book by celebrated French feminist Mona Chollet explores the types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted in the days of the witch hunts: the independent woman, the childless woman, and the elderly woman. Has much changed? Chollet notes that women today are direct heirs to the “witches” of the past, and face the same judgments and stereotypes that women have battled for centuries. The excellent foreword is by Carmen Maria Machado. (hardcover, 2022 first English translation)
“Mona Chollet rehabilitates the figure of the witch, this dangerously independent, educated, and strong woman.” – Slate (France)
“A thought-provoking, discursive survey by a bright light of Francophone feminism … In today’s France, Chollet has emerged as a quiet revolutionary, pushing back against the clichés and the patriarchy that shapes them … In Defense of Witches demonstrates that a woman’s decision to go against the grain ― especially by not having children ― inevitably becomes a political act, even an act of resistance.”- The New York Times Book Review
“A smart feminist treatise reclaiming the witch and her radical way of life as a path forward for women … Chollet’s informed and passionate treatment will appeal to readers looking for more substance amid the witch trend that’s otherwise been largely commodified and often scrubbed of its feminist origins.” – Booklist
“What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women … Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way.” – Télérama (France)