To put the novel into context, Fritz Leiber Jr. He was also building a reputation for writing strange stories in magazines such as Weird Tales appropriately enough! Fritz was an author known for also being a poet, a scriptwriter and even holding down an occupation as a Shakespearian actor himself being brought up in an acting family , it should not be a surprise that his stories were fond of wordplay and the use of language, imaginative and literate. Link here.

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Post a Comment. Scheming, jealous shrews who think only in terms of their own conceit the resulting image, adding the supernatural only darkens lines and casts longer shadows. Penned in fine prose and plotted to a perfect T, the novel is a horror of both the literary and gendered variety.

Raymond Saylor is an ambitious sociology professor working at prestigious Hempnell University. Life in an easy groove, his academic papers are accepted to positive criticism, his domestic life is at ease, his peers and students respect him, and he is in a leading position for the faculty chair that will soon be vacated. Tufts of feather tucked away here, magic charms hidden there, vials of graveyard dirt pushed to the backs of drawers, shiny buttons attached to clothes—all around their home she unearths the evidence as Saylor confronts her.

But a phone call jerks him from his reflection. But the infuriated young man is only the beginning. Conjure Wife pays no direct disrespect to women, but it does utilize the social mores and gender views of midth century America to their fullest. Middle class women occupying Betty Crocker domestic roles in support of their families and spouses, Leiber never breaks the mold to make any statements about the position of women in society.

As such, Tansy and the other wives quibble and fight with magic, bicker and whinge like old hens, and ultimately are only intent on maneuvering their husbands into better positions at the university. Conniving, pernicious, and homebound, it is not a flattering portrayal, to say the least. That being said, Leiber never intended to break any molds or make any new ones with Conjure Wife. Storytelling and commercial success not politics the intent of the novel, it possesses little to no sub-text.

The portrayal of women, as jaded as it is, is simply a plot device, a way to motivate the Gothic side of the horror. Of course once can always call Leiber out for wasting opportunities, but I think the lack of thematic ambition is enough to at least take the portrayal of women with a grain of salt. The gods know there are enough men portrayed as greedy, power hungry assholes in fiction without complaint…. In the end, Conjure Wife is an exquisitely crafted novel of suspense and dark fantasy.

As pure story, however, it is wonderfully penned and plotted, and as a result truly able to set something creeping along the spine. Naturally, it has been speculative fiction at the helm. In particular, they have sought to overturn the evil classically associated with the elderly spinster or spiteful housewife.

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Conjure Wife

By Ted Gioia Few literary figures of the early 20th century led less predictable lives than Fritz Leiber. He was a brilliant chess player, a preacher, a college teacher, a champion fencer, a Shakespearian actor, and even appeared on screen with Greta Garbo. Leiber's writing, which was hardly more conventional than his CV. Leiber drew on his own odd assortment of influences—H. Lovecraft, Carl Jung, Robert Graves, Joseph Campbell—in a literary career that crossed genres almost as frequently as his adventure- seeking characters crossed swords. His most famous fictional creations were Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, who for many readers still represent the gold standard in the sword-and-sorcery genre. Related Stories Fritz Leiber at The Big Time by Fritz Leiber Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber Conjure Wife , Leiber's debut novel from , also ranks among his most resilient works, with a modern day witchcraft storyline that has been rediscovered in different formats by several generations of admirers.


Fourth time is the charm for "Conjure Wife" movie

There are a lot of fascinating things you can learn about 20th Century America — and America today — by being a compulsive paperback collector. The book has been reprinted around a dozen times by roughly as many publishers over the last 70 years, and each time the cover art and marketing copy tell you as much about society as they do about the book. More, even. First, it helps to know a little about the novel. When he convinces her to abandon the mysterious art, the couple rapidly find their luck changing for the worse. I always thought that was a fascinating premise.


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Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber

Conjure Wife is a supernatural horror novel by American writer Fritz Leiber. Its premise is that witchcraft flourishes as an open secret among women. The story is told from the point of view of a small-town college professor who discovers that his wife is a witch. This novel was the first by Fritz Leiber and was first published in the April edition of Unknown. It is said to have been the inspiration for at least three films: [1] Weird Woman , Night of the Eagle also known as Burn, Witch, Burn! Tansy Saylor is the wife of an up-and-coming young sociology professor at a small, conservative American college.

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