The Women Could Fly is set in our contemporary world with one big difference. A belief in witches gives rise to laws and a culture that encourages women to be married by the age of 30, locking them in a 1950s-style domesticity with the threat that they can be burned at the stake for merely being accused of violating the rules.
In Megan Giddings’ second novel, the reader must first grapple with the question: Are witches real? As the story progresses, the question shifts: Even if witches exist, why are they considered nefarious?
“On a basic level, I just really wanted to write about magic,” Giddings tells me and co-host Brenda Noiseux in the new episode of New Books in Science Fiction. “I wanted to write about a world where anything seems possible, but still people lean into their worst impulses and keep things small. … I wanted to show the ways that people constrain themselves. And I thought magic—something that could be limitless, something that could change anything—was the right way to get in there.”
Megan Giddings is the author of Lakewood. She has degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University and is a recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial fund grant for feminist fiction.