Diana Wynne Jones’ Witch Week (1983) is a fantasy set between Halloween and November 5th — Bonfire Night — marking the day in 1604 when Guy Fawkes was caught preparing to blow up Parliament. Six years ago, Lory of Emerald City Book Review used this time frame to set up eight days of magic and mayhem as an annual event to celebrate fantasy books and authors.
We’ve now come to the seventh Witch Week, which I’m co-hosting with Chris at Calmgrove. Our theme for 2020, an appropriately dark one for this time of year, is
Our 2020 read-along is Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. In August, four of us had a virtual conversation on this, and we hope that you’ll add to our discussion when an edited version of it is posted later in the week.
Here then is the schedule:
Day 1: 31st October, Halloween
My co-conspiritor, Chris, takes us on a tour of Gothick castles and towers featured in more than 200 years of gothic literature.
Day 3: 2nd November, All Soul’s Day
Is there a better place to visit on this Day of the Dead than a graveyard? We think not. Join us for an in-depth consideration of our read-along book.
Day 5: 4th November
I review a modern gothic YA fantasy that features creepy puppets: Laura Amy Schlitz’s Splendors and Glooms.
Day 6: 5th November, Guy Fawkes’ Day (Bonfire Night)
“Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America” (The Guardian). Kristen of We Be Reading tempts us with her review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2020 best-seller, Mexican Gothic.
Day 7: 6th November
I end the celebration with the usual wrap-up post, and end by unveiling the theme for Witch Week 2021 (to be hosted on Chris’s blog).
Do not fear to join us!
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all of Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again;—I remember finishing it in two days—my hair standing on end the whole time.” —Mr. Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey.