Rivka Galchen is the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. She spent a year in South America working on public health issues and received her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham fellow. Many Worlds Interpretation, her essay on quantum mechanics was published in The Believer. Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch: A Novel (Picador) begins in 1618 in the German duchy of Württemberg. The plague is spreading. The Thirty Years’ War has already started, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch. She is an illiterate widow known for her herbal remedies and the success of her children. Her eldest, Johannes, is the Imperial Mathematician and author of the laws of planetary motion. It’s enough to make anyone jealous. So when a neighbor accuses Katharina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that made her ill, Katharina is in trouble. Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear, and a tale for our time.