Ariel Gore chats with The Rumpus!
We Were Witches author Ariel Gore chatted with Zoe Zolbrod about magic, millennials, and motherhood.
From The Rumpus:
"I was a twenty-something gadabout when I first read Hip Mama in the mid-1990s, with no intention of having a kid any time soon. Even without a direct connection to the subject matter, I was taken with the parenting zine immediately. I loved the voice and perspective of founding editor Ariel Gore, who lived in the Bay Area and was single-parenting the daughter she’d had at nineteen. When I got pregnant, at the societally approved age of thirty-two, I looked to her for guidance about how to become a mother while retaining my politics and identity. Lucky for me, her second book, The Mother Trip, had just come out. I bought a copy when she came to Chicago on her book tour, along with her first book, The Hip Mama Survival Guide. With chapters about the evil patriarchy and learning to be unacceptable, they were a welcome reprieve from the volumes telling me what to expect, what to do, what to want, how to be.
Hip Mama, which continues to cover the culture and politics of motherhood, went on to win an Alternative Press Award, and I remained a fan of Gore’s writing as she wrote seven more books, expanding into memoir and psychology with titles such as Atlas of the Human Heart, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness, and the award-winning The End of Eve. Receiving a submission from her when I was co-editing the Sunday Rumpus was such an honor I almost couldn’t believe it was happening. We published “Blood Red Bougainvillea” in the spring of 2016, and that summer we published “Do You Have a Beau.” They were written in spare, lyrical language and though slim in size dealt with big themes of violence, shame, desire, queerness, magic, and motherhood.
Versions of both essays appear in Gore’s new book, the novel We Were Witches, which takes on the story of a very young mother named Ariel raising a child in the Bay Area and facing many of the same struggles that Gore has written about in her previous nonfiction."