White Magic Hardcover – April 27, 2021 by Elissa Washuta

> > SKU: 9781951142391


[432 pages]

PUB: April 27, 2021

$26.95 $18.72

5 in stock



Author: Washuta Elissa

Brand: Tin House Books

Package Dimensions: 40x223x594

Number Of Pages: 432

Release Date: 27-04-2021

Details: Product Description
Longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Award
A TIME, NPR, New York Public Library, Lit Hub, Book Riot, and Entropy Best Book of the Year
“Beguiling and haunting. . . . Washuta’s voice sears itself onto the skin.” ―The New York Times Book Review
Bracingly honest and powerfully affecting, White Magic establishes Elissa Washuta as one of our best living essayists.
Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, “starter witch kits” of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.
In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life―Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham―to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.
“Beguiling and haunting. . . . Washuta’s voice sears itself onto the skin.”

The New York Times Book Review



“Elissa Washuta’s newest collection of essays is coming out in 2021―and they may be exactly what you need right now.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“In this potent, illuminating memoir in essays, Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, digs into her relationship with magic and the occult. . . . Touching on love, heritage, identity, and faith,
White Magic is resonant and weighty.”


“Riveting and insightful.”

Ms. Magazine

“[Sifts] through the broken shards of culture, looking for messages to restore one’s spirit.”

The Los Angeles Times

“A funny, piercingly intelligent memoir. . . . Washuta is thoroughly gifted.”


“Remarkable. . . . Each essay is skillful at interweaving the personal and the historical―and on the whole, the collection is, well, magic.”


“Spellbinding…. [stirs] historical research and contemporary memoir into a captivating frenzy.”


“Bold, inventive, bewitching.”

The Rumpus

“The most incredible memoir.”

Liberty Hardy, All the Books podcast, BookRiot

“Incantatory…. impassioned.”


“She interlaces stories from her Native forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life.”

New York Public Library

“Her unique voice as a Cowlitz woman who refuses to be contained by colonialism, sexism, and ableism will light a fire in any reader who is paying attention.”


“In the end, it is not tarot cards but writing ― the tedious but magical process of decoding and rebuilding with new tricks and spells ― that proves to be the real magic.”


“An innovative and deeply felt work to sink into.”

The Millions

“A well of invention and imagination.”

The Believer

“White magic, red magic, Stevie Nicks magic―this is Elissa Washuta magic, which is a spell carved from a life, written in blood, and sealed in an honesty I can hardly fathom.”

Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

White Magic is funny and wry, it’s thought-provoking and tender. It’s a sleight of hand performed by a true master of the craft.
White Magic is magnificent and Elissa Washuta is spellbinding. There is no one else like her.”

Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things

“Elissa Washuta is exactly the writer we need right now: as funny as she is formidable a thinker, as thoughtful as she is inventive―her scrutiny is a fearless tool, every subject whittled to its truest

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