The Second Annual Brilliant Careers Essay Contest Smarter Voters Made Daily

 


Navigation Salon Salon Books email print
Arts & Entertainment
.Books
Comics
Health & Body
Media
Mothers Who Think
News
People
Politics2000
Technology
- Free Software Project
Travel & Food
Columnists

 

- - - - - - - - - - - -

www.netscape.com

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Also Today

For a full list of today's Salon Books stories, go to the Books home page.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Recently in Salon Books Log

Reagan biographer bites back
[09/30/99]

Washington Post book critic defends Reagan biographer
[09/29/99]

Bush campaign cans biographer
[09/27/99]

Vocal coaching for the Hanson brothers, Iggy Pop and President Clinton
[09/23/99]

Big-money imprint folds; Booker short-list announced
[09/22/99]

Complete archives for Books

- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -




British witch casts a spell on Oprah

Will magic help her score a spot on the show?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Craig Offman

Oct. 1, 1999 | Television host Oprah Winfrey has proved she can put a spell on an author's career, but now an author has apparently put a spell on Oprah. Britain's best-known witch, Titania Hardie, the author of William Morrow and Company's upcoming "Enchanted: Titania's Book of White Magic," knows what wonderful alchemy an appearance with Oprah offers a book. So she is calling on some extrasensory connections to land herself on the ABC show.

When reached at her home in Pilton, near Glastonbury, Hardie confirmed that she cast the spell but conceded that she has yet to experience any celestial pull. "I think it's backfired at the moment," the 40-year-old white magic woman said with a laugh. "I gather that Roseanne wants me. So I must be getting my direction wrong."

How does one get in touch with Oprah's sixth sense? Hardie explains that she rolled out a pentagram of yellow ribbon ("Ribbons symbolize the beauty of a cord with other people," she observes in "Enchanted"), then placed a candle in the middle and sent the "Beloved" star some "nice benedictions." While she wouldn't reveal the wording of these thought waves, she did mention a premonition that Oprah was having some problems with her house. (Winfrey could not be reached to confirm the premonition.)

"I would really like to meet Oprah," Hardie says. "It must be difficult to be an intellectual person doing a populist's job -- and she is that." She added that in 1996 she was scheduled to appear on the show but was bumped at the last minute.

She has less complimentary words for Oprah's pal Toni Morrison, whom she takes to task for the negative references to witches in her 1977 novel "Song of Solomon." "How could she not see that she's throwing centuries of bad press back at witches?" Hardie wants to know. "I will very good-naturedly and very poetically send her a sweet note saying how much I admire the book, but I don't think she's noticed that she's victimized another marginal group."

Hardie, who moved to England from her native Australia in 1984, says that her Cornish grandmother, who practiced the white magic known as Wicca, inspired her to become a witch. One of Wicca's tenets is "harming none," and so readers will discover no harmful spells in her upcoming suede-covered book. Instead they'll find instructions for making a healing potion and a love lotion and for casting positive spells.

Hardie has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Sydney and is pursuing a second degree, in literature, at the Open University. She devotes much of her time to battling negative stereotypes about witches. When asked about her reputation as the best-known witch in Britain, she said, "I don't know whether that's a compliment or not."
salon.com | Oct. 1, 1999

- - - - - - - - - - - -

About the writer
Craig Offman is the New York correspondent for Salon Books.

Table Talk
Book buzz Share your thoughts on literary controversies, personalities and oddities.

Sound off
Send us a Letter to the Editor
Send e-mail to Craig Offman

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Email this story  E-mail a friend about this article

Backflip This Story  Backflip this article to find it again

- - - - - - - - - - - -


The Second Annual Brilliant Careers Essay Contest

Smarter Voters Made Daily

 

Salon | Search | Archives | Site Guide | Contact Us | Table Talk | Newsletter | Ad Info

Arts & Entertainment | Books | Columnists | Comics | Health & Body
Letters | Mothers Who Think | News | People | Politics | Technology

Copyright © 2000 Salon.com All rights reserved.