30. The Crucible by Arthur Miller and witchy books to read this fall

Today Chelsey and Sara are kicking off the spooky season by discussing The Crucible by Arthur Miller—a play about the infamous Salem witch trials. We get pretty nerdy in this episode. Full of drama, history, and high school English class nostalgia, this play was so much fun to talk about! Chelsey shares details from her immersive high school reading experience, Sara shares memories of teaching the book (and the movie), and we share absorbing reads to pair with the themes, history, and tone of the play. Plus, we discuss implications and complexities for discussing and teaching this play during the Me Too era. 

Our discussion includes:

  • How the play conveys (or villainizes) feminine power and gender roles [9:20]
  • Complicated feelings about Abigail Williams & John Proctor [14:00]
  • What IS a crucible? [20:21]
  • Speculating why there are lots of witchy books on the publishing calendar right now [29:45]

Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic,  including a comedic novel set in the 1980’s and a murder mystery set on the Plymouth Plantation.

Shop the pairings:  https://bookshop.org/lists/witchy-novel-pairings-for-the-crucible

Chelsey’s Pairings:
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry [35:45]
Interview w/Barry
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson [44:45]
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde [49:57]

Sara’s Pairings:
Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit [41:15]
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell [47:02]
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan [52:02]

Picks of the Week:
Chelsey: You Must Remember This  Episode 14 Arthur Miller, “After the Fall” 
Sara:The Unobscured Podcast

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