“Unique and vital…Witches of America is a seeker’s memoir told through a quilted veil: a collection of strong, journalistic profiles of several fascinating American practitioners of the occult. Through these witches, priests and necromancers, Alex Mar surveys the history and modern practice of various forms of witchcraft in America, while investigating her own longing ‘to be disturbed, shaken into believing.’”

– THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Notable Book of 2015)

“What will resonate most with readers is [Mar’s] genuine and touching search for transcendence…”


“Weird and wonderful…”


Witches, priests and priestesses, and even a necromancer receive a sympathetic, humanizing treatment as Mar encourages empathy for the ‘outer edges’ of society…Whatever one’s spiritual inclinations, Mar’s search for ‘something transcendent’ is bewitching.

– PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

Written with a beguiling blend of heart and wit, Witches of America sustains its thrall…With the depth and scope of her curiosity, Alex Mar compelled me to follow her…on a breathless, deepening, and constantly surprising quest.


“Witches of America is brave and sharp and tenaciously researched. I would never have described myself as someone ‘interested in witchcraft’—Alex Mar’s book left me feeling the fault had been mine.


Witches of America could be seen as a Gulliverian journey through various oddball sects scattered from California to New England, all of whom believe in salvation through Magick—but the book is so much more than that. This is a quest to come to terms with the Unknowable.”


“Mar writes about her subject and its practitioners with empathy and genuine curiosity…Deeply compelling…”


Alex Mar is a writer based in her hometown of New York City. Her first book, Witches of America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was a New York Times Notable Book of 2015 in non-fiction, a New York Times Editors’ Pick, among The Millions’ “Most Anticipated Books” of 2015, one of The Believer‘s “Favorite Books” and Huffington Post Books’ “Most Notable” of 2015, and a Marie Claire “Top Book-Club Pick.” Some of her recent work has appeared in The Believer, Wired, New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, Elle, Tin House, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Oxford American (where she is a contributing editor), and The Best American Magazine Writing 2018. She was nominated for a 2018 National Magazine Award (ASME) for Feature Writing, and her essays were included in both Longreads’ and BuzzFeed’s “Best of 2016” year-end lists. Formerly an editor at Rolling Stone, she has been a guest correspondent for CBS, ABC, National Public Radio, and the BBC. She is also the director of the feature-length documentary American Mystic, now streaming on Amazon. Mar is currently at work on her second non-fiction book, for Penguin Press.

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