What is magical realism?

Posted on October 17, 2007

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I’ve heard that magical realism is a hot new genre. What is magical realism exactly? Can you tell me where to find more information about this genre? Can you give me any examples of children’s books that are considered magical realism?

You’ve probably heard that because of the buzz surrounding the new TV show Pushing Daisies, which has a magical realism theme, although I have seen the show yet.

There are many different definitions, but in general magical realism is when elements of the supernatural are interjected into a normal, modern world setting.

In his article, What is Magical Realism, Really?, Bruce Holland Rogers writes: “Magical realism is not speculative and does not conduct thought experiments. Instead, it tells its stories from the perspective of people who live in our world and experience a different reality from the one we call objective. If there is a ghost in a story of magical realism, the ghost is not a fantasy element but a manifestation of the reality of people who believe in and have ‘real’ experiences of ghosts.”

For a fascinating analysis of the many different aspects of magical realism, be sure to read the entire article.

Also, I happen to love Wikipedia. So be sure to check out their in-depth historical and literary perspectives on magical realism.

Serendipity is a new free online ezine of magical realism for adults.

MR Central is an online magical realism interactive community. At the website you can find the archives for Margin, the online magical realism ezine for kids, which is no longer published. You can also find an alphabetical list of children’s magical realism fiction, including such popular favorites as: Holes by Louis Sachar, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

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