Sunday, October 25, 2020
In this can’t-miss fiction session, we’ll meet indelible characters, young women whose ambition, desires, or thirst for revenge lead them outside society’s norms—which is just fine with them. In Alix E. Harrow’s historical fantasy The Once and Future Witches, the four Eastwood sisters rediscover the lost art of witchcraft in 1893 and aim to turn the nascent suffragist movement in New Salem into a witches’ movement. Witches also populate the pages of Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks—in this case, the “sticks” of the title aren't brooms but field hockey sticks, as the Danvers girls’ field hockey team makes a dark bargain to ensure a winning season. Emily M. Danforth (author of YA favorite The Miseducation of Cameron Post) makes her adult fiction debut with Plain Bad Heroines, an expansive ghost story of sorts, about a shuttered girls’ school and the century-old lesbian memoir that supposedly cursed it. Layne Fargo’s thriller They Never Learn also has an academic setting, profiling both a female professor/serial killer and a pair of first-year college students on a quest for revenge. Bridget Marshall of UMass–Lowell will host this lively hour devoted to fearlessly feminist fiction.