Book Review: ‘White Magic’ by Elissa Washuta - Metaphorical Threads Weaved With Harmony

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There are many poor souls that are deprived of love, affection and betrayed whenever they tried to bond with someone emotionally. 

It is rather difficult to express feelings and they just keep biting us from inside until and unless we find someone to portray them for us or find something that actually feels like conveying your ripped soul making you feel intimately connected to it.

‘White magic’ is really an amazing and emotional book that you will want to never end. It will keep you indulged in it’s dynamic essays that are so beautifully crafted and weaved together that you will emotionally connect to them as soon as you understand them. 

It has repelling ideas fabricated in such a way that it makes them appear to be complimentary.


Book’s Name - White Magic

Author’s Name - Elissa Washuta

Language - English

Genre - Nonfiction, Spirituality, Essays

Synopsis - Spoiler alert!

Washuta's desperate desire to decolonize witchcraft and other spiritual rituals kick off White Magic. The Native American practice of smudging with white sage, for example, has become so commercialized that sage packages were recently sold at Sephora.

Washuta, a Cowlitz Indian Tribe member, wishes for a "version of the supernatural that isn't founded on plunder," though she doubts such a thing exists.

Washuta uses Native myths to investigate the ecosystem of the Seattle area, as well as the history of the region's colonization by white settlers. Washuta's own harrowing stories are used to contextualize many essays about the history of sexual abuse against Native women.

To build resonances through time, these essays deftly switch between the intimate, cultural, and historical aspects.

About the Book

White Magic is spiritual, incantatory, a puzzle, and an illusion all rolled into one. This set becomes more than the number of its parts in Elissa Washuta's hands. The objects of these essays are fragments of a larger story—like a spell cast to heal what has been broken.

Some of the territory in this collection may be familiar to readers of Washuta's two previous nonfiction books, but it is a new tale, a reckoning with healing and growing up.

About the Author

Elissa Washuta is a Native American author from Washington State's Cowlitz tribe. Starvation Mode: a Memoir of Food, Consumption, and Control and My Body is a Book of Rules, about her personal experience of eating disorders and body dysmorphia, are two memoirs she wrote about her young adulthood.

She talks about sexual harassment, mental health problems as a young adult, and navigating her culture as a member of the Pacific Northwest Coast's Indigenous population.

Washuta was an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio State University's Creative Writing program in 2019.

Her parents met while attending college in Seattle and moved to New Jersey together. Washuta graduated from Hackettstown High School in New Jersey in 2003.

Her family was the only enrolled Cowlitz tribe members in her area, according to the United States Census Bureau. Until 2015, when the federal government granted the Cowlitz tribe 152 acres near Ridgefield in Clark County, Washington, the tribe had no reservation.

Washuta received a bachelor's degree in creative writing with a distinction in fiction writing from the University of Maryland in 2007 and a master's degree in creative writing with a distinction in fiction writing from the University of Washington in 2009. 

Psychological Analysis

The most intimate essays in White Magic are among the best, especially those that grapple with the piercing sorrow of romantic attachment.Why do we love people who are unable to love us back—or, worse, who could kill us? 

Washuta's deft touch lends symbolic weight to these concerns through subtle forays into pop culture, from Stevie Nicks and "Twin Peaks" to the video game Red Dead Redemption 2.

These topics can seem to be unrelated, but Washuta's ability to weave metaphorical threads throughout the essays creates a remarkably harmonious narrative whole.

Famous Quotes

  1. “And even full, the hole remains, but now, with him dislodged, I can see it isn’t a void—it’s a portal through which things can enter to make me strong.”

  1.  “You will know you are almost to the gates of paradise when you feel like you are falling into the pits of hell.” 

The Bottom line

White Magic’ is an interesting and heart-throbbing read that is suitable for the ones who think by heart and not by mind. If you ever loved someone and your love story had a tragic and sorrow phase ever then this will be quite relatable to you.

The fabrication of ideas,content and the whole stuff is just remarkable and will make you dive in as you move ahead in the reading journey.

My ratings for the book - 5/5

You can buy a copy from Amazon right away - White Magic

Written By - Palak Chauhan

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