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Magical Realism

Magical realism involves the fusion of the real and the fantastic and the transformation of the common and the everyday into the awesome and the unreal. The strictest definition says that only works by Latin American writers qualify as magical realism, but that qualifier is often discarded these days. Gabriel García Márquez is usually acknowledged as the style's founding father, but beyond that all bets are off; magical realism is a hotly debated literary term. We've put together the following list of books to give you a taste of this inventive and invigorating sub-genre.

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Authors

Gabriel Garcia MarquezGabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Love in the Time of Cholera
Collected Stories
All Books by Gabriel García Márquez

 

Jorge Amando

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
Shepherds of the Night

All books by Jorge Amando


Isabel AllendeIsabel Allende

The House of the Spirits
Eva Luna
Stories of Eva Luna
City of the Beasts
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon
All Books by Isabel Allende

 

Julio Cortázar

Blow-Up: And Other Stories
Hopscotch
Bestiario
All books by Julio Cortázar

 

Ben OkriBen Okri

Stars of the New Curfew
The Famished Road
Songs of Enchantment
Astonishing the Gods
An African Elegy
All Books by Ben Okri

 

Alice Hoffman

Illumination Night
River King
Practical Magic
Turtle Moon
Seventh Heaven
Second Nature
Blue Diary
All Books by Alice Hoffman

 

Salman RushdieSalman Rushdie

Midnight's Children
Shame
The Satanic Verses
Haroun and the Sea of Stories
All books by Salman Rushdie

 

Toni Morrison

Beloved
Song of Solomon
All Books by Toni Morrison

 

Italo CalvinoItalo Calvino

Cosmicomics
Invisible Cities
If On a Winter's Night a Traveler

All Books by Italo Calvino

 

Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Immortality

All books by Milan Kundera

 

 

 

Books

FiccionesFicciones (Fictions), Jorge Luis Borges
Borges returns again and again to his celebrated themes: dreams, labyrinths, mirrors, infinite libraries, the manipulations of chance, gaucho knife fighters, transparent tigers, and the elusive nature of identity.

 

IllywhackerIllywhacker, Peter Carey
In Australian slang, an illywhacker is a country fair con man, an unprincipled seller of fake diamonds and dubious tonics. And Herbert Badgery, the 139-year-old narrator, may be the king of them all.

 

Nights at the CircusNights at the Circus, Angela Carter
This collection of short stories gathers early reflections on jazz and Japan, through vigorous refashionings of vampires and werewolves, to stunning snapshots of real-life outcasts and the glorious but tainted world of 'the rich and famous.'

 

The Day Lasts More Than A Hundred YearsThe Day Lasts More Than A Hundred Years, Chingiz Aitmatov
Yedigei looks back on his life as he brings the body of a close friend across the steppes of Central Asia to be buried in an ancient cemetary.


The Name of the RoseThe Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey in 1327 are suspected of heresy, and Brother William arrives to investigate the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night".



The Beginning PlaceThreshold (The Beginning Place) , Ursula K. Le Guin
A magical place across a creek provides sanctuary for two young people in flight from the banality of their daily lives, until their paradise turns into a hell on Earth.

 

 

The Invention of the WorldThe Invention of the World, Jack Hodgins
Donal Keneally, an Irish giant who thought he could invent the world, leads a band of faithful followers from Ireland to Vancouver Island in search of Eden

 

 

Magister LudiThe Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi), Herman Hesse
Hesse's final novel is an intricate bildungsroman about humanity's eternal quest for enlightenment and for synthesis of the intellectual and the participatory life.

 

 

The History of Danish DreamsThe History of Danish Dreams, Peter Hoeg
Hoeg's cast includes a count who builds a wall around his estate and stops all his clocks to prevent the passage of time, and an old lady who presides over a powerful newspaper dynasty and predicts the future accurately in print without ever learning to read and write.

 

The Last MagicianThe Last Magician, Janette Turner Hospital
Lucy, a good girl and a whore, spends her nights in a kaleidoscope of identities. Charlie, a photographer, filmmaker, voyeur, and the last magician, piecestogether the splinters of evidence surrounding a crime that happened half a lifetime ago.

 

CloudstreetCloudstreet, Tim Winton
Struggling to rebuild their lives after being touched by disaster, the Pickle family takes in the God-fearing Lambs as tenants. Their shared experiences bond them to each other and to their bustling, haunted house in ways no one could have anticipated.

 

The Child in TimeThe Child in Time, Ian McEwan
A spare yet evocative novel that explores the dark sides of parenting and humanity by an author compared to Dickens, Lawrence and Woolf.