Cover Photo: A black and white still from the Wizard of Oz movie—The Wicked Witch is hiding behind a tree, waiting to surprise Dorothy and the Scarecrow, walking down the yellow brick road.
Still from 'The Wizard of Oz'/MGM Studios Inc.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ Is a Story About Grief

We’re told the Wicked Witch wants the ruby slippers because they have magic powers—but so does any material object once possessed and cherished by a deceased loved one.

Thisis, a monthly column by Lilly Dancyger on women coded as villains in pop culture, the power in their badness, and how they shaped fans for good.

Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as one of the winners of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021; and the editor of Burn it Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press. Lilly's writing has been published by Longreads, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. Find her on Twitter here.