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Summary

Buying into the dream that education is the road out of poverty, a teen mom takes a chance on bettering herself, gets on welfare rolls, and talks her way into college. But once she's there, phallocratic narratives permeate every subject, and creative writing professors depend heavily on Freytag's pyramid to analyze life. So Ariel turns to a rich subcultural canon of resistance and failure, populated by writers like Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldua, Tillie Olsen, and Kathy Acker. Wryly riffing on feminist literary tropes, We Were Witches documents the survival of a demonized single mother. She's beset by custody disputes, homophobia, and America's ever-present obsession with shaming strange women into passive citizenship. But even as the narrator struggles to graduate - often the triumphant climax of a dramatic plot - a question uncomfortably lingers. If you're dealing with precarious parenthood, queer identity, and debt, what is the true narrative shape of your experience? Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

©2018 Blackstone Publishing (P)2018 Ariel Gore

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  • Madelynn
  • 28-12-20

so good ☺️

omg so good, listened the whole six hours straight. Or should I say, the whole six hours gay

4 people found this helpful

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  • Regina M. McCormick
  • 24-04-21

A poignant reminder, perfect timing

What an incredible story. A reminder of what it means to be an artist, a woman, a mother - in the face of society dictating those definitions. It’s often a slow, difficult path with a lot of doubt, but when you get through the hardest parts - you can see it made you and your art. I appreciate that the author is the narrator, it feels more personal and real.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie Miller
  • 27-02-21

Raw, real, and intriguing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me laugh, and made me proud to be a woman.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Athena
  • 27-01-21

Must Have

This book was so touching and amazing. I have suggested it to all of my female friends and loved ones. She take you into what it’s like to just be to be a mother a woman a daughter

2 people found this helpful

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  • ler
  • 11-01-21

One of the best books I've read in a long time

Absolutely stunning book with scenes that made me feel very strong emotions. I really like the idea that yes, you can tell your story however you like. I think everyone should read this book. Warning for graphic violent and sexual content, but don't let that discourage you.

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  • RH Russell
  • 15-11-20

Feminists, read this book!

I loved everything about this book, including that it's read by the author. Her struggle is beautiful and raw. If you've taken a Women's Studies course, you will really feel at home in her recollection of when she first read Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldua, Judith Butler, Tillie Olsen, and Audre Lorde, which preciously was aloud to her infant daughter. (It was a happy return to 20 years ago, for me.) Her journey to empowerment and confidence is relatable yet so smart and reflective beyond herself to the misogyny of children's fairy tales and the targeting of women who have dared to be different in history. Already, I've recommended it to feminist friends. Honestly, I love this book. I feel like I know Ariel now and am searching out her other books.

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  • BJ
  • 14-04-19

Brutally honest and brilliant storytelling

Introvert advisory—don’t listen in a car while riding with anyone who isn’t prepared for strong imagery, frank language, and gut-wrenching injustice. I was so angry listening to this inside view of what it means to be marginalized and brave and smart and up against systemic violence and oppression that just keeps swinging. I finished the book more committed than ever to my feminist roots. “Misogyny. Look it up. Stamp it out!”
That may not sound like a great review, but I am so glad to have listened to Ariel Gore tell her own stories. She glows through all the crap she dealt with, and her relationship with her daughter is a thread of gold woven through the shit show of patriarchy and privilege. Brilliant, unflinching, resilient writing.
Oh, and the government’s student loan program is a corrupt scam. Student loans don’t need to be “forgiven”, they need to be reset to original principal. How many times over have we repaid our original loans? Yet the sick magic of Sallie Mae keeps swelling our debt. There must be a counter spell to that madness.
Thank you, Ariel Gore, for writing what you know.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-18

Absolutely brilliant, wise, healing

Hearing Ariel Gore’s voice read her own words, is profound.
This book is beautiful, sad, honest, and makes me feel less alone.
My mother was a single parent with me. And Gore’s words feel like words my own mother could maybe never say to me. And I appreciate them so much.
Thank you for writing this book. It is important 💕🙏

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  • tamiam
  • 27-05-21

an unique gem

the writer uses poetic language and magic realism to tell the story of day to day survival as a poor single mother. she finds her way with the help of many women whether they be face to face or through books. her life is not unique but she tells stories in a way no one else does. i loved this book and was sad it had to end.

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  • Cori Steinberg
  • 10-05-21

Delusional, cliche, reductive.

If you're longing for an autobiography about a potentially schizophrenic woman buying hand over fist into the overplayed cliche archetype of a west coast bohemian feminist then go right ahead. Victim pretending to be strong while playing into her victimization and becoming that which everyone knew she'd become. outdated. not a story for a modern young strong woman.