Today’s GalleyCrush is Elissa Washuta’s White Magic, forthcoming from Tin House on April 27, 2021.
Perfect pitch: “In this collection of intertwined essays, [Elissa Washuta] writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch.”
First lines: “Some girl at school once had a mood ring. We girls were quiet about it the way we were quiet about the rolled waistbands of our uniform skirts, which we concealed with the loose overhangs of tucked-in polos. Both were kinds of witchcraft the nuns forbade: spells done with sacred tools, the conjuring power of our hips.”
Big blurb: “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 form. White Magic is a bracingly original work that enthralled me in a hypnosis on the other side of which I was changed for the better, more likely to trust my own strange intelligence.” —Melissa Febos
Book notes: Hardcover, essays, 432 pages.
Author bio: Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode. With Theresa Warburton, she is coeditor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Potlatch Fund. Washuta is an assistant professor of creative writing at the Ohio State University.