On ‘Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch’

Carolyn Kellogg at the LA Times:

When challenged, former President Donald Trump often claimed he was the victim of a witch hunt, even “the greatest Witch Hunt in American history.” This was not just an exaggeration but an inversion: He was being investigated in search of truth, while in a witch hunt, a forgone guilty verdict is reached by twisted interpretation and fantastical invention.

Especially in 1617 in Germany, the setting of Rivka Galchen’s delightfully funny second novel, “Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch.” Katharina is a sharp-tongued grandmother who leads a quiet life until she catches the attention of a handful of townspeople who drunkenly accuse her of witchcraft. Did she make a woman unable to bear children? Was she responsible for the death of a hog? Katharina dismisses this as nonsense, but the town pulses with rumor, allegiances ebbing and flowing, and the case against her is serious. Her daughter-in-law Gertie delights in reading scandal sheets that describe the torture and killing of other women accused of witchcraft. One is so frightening that Katharina skips town to stay with her son.

more here.