Excerpt from Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

by Rivka Galchen

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen X
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
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  • Published:
    Jun 2021, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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Print Excerpt


I get so little acknowledgment here in Leonberg of Hans's place in the world, and that's good—who wants to bring out the devils of envy? But I suppose I was waiting for the chance to dismiss a compliment, to say that Hans's accomplishments were his own, and not mine, though Hans does say, and I don't disbelieve him, that the mother's imagination in pregnancy impresses itself upon the child. And Hans does look like me, not like his father, may he rest in peace or whatnot. As I followed that boy, I thought: Okay, I'll ask Hans for the horoscope, or whatever this ducal governor wants, it will be good for my son Christoph, who had only that very year purchased his citizenship, who wanted to move up in the world, as Hans had, and why not? We passed one of the small civic gardens where hurtsickle and blue chamomile had been left to overcrowd each other. A white rabbit crossed my path. Outside of the ducal governor's home, a stone engraving of Einhorn's shield was being finished by a young mason. The shield showed a unicorn rearing up on its hind legs, like a battle horse. A vanity.

In the cool front room of the ducal governor's residence, the boy showed me to a seat next to a vulgarly stuffed pheasant and then left. The pheasant had green glass eyes. The feathers looked oily; the pheasant looked evil. Turned to evil, I will say, as opposed to born of evil. I was thirsty. I waited there, next to that unmoving pheasant.

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Excerpted from Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen. Copyright © 2021 by Rivka Galchen. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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